Tag Archives: Recycling


3 Nov

I wish I could see this movie.



How to recycle in Cochabamba / Locabamba

16 Aug

*Para español, mire abajo.

As there isn’t a municipal system for recycling in Cochabamba yet, most recycling done here is underground, with scavengers who pick through trash to find plastic bottles, paper, or glass bottles to resell to “centros de acopios” or tiny little storage centers who sort the stuff and sell it to a recycling plant.  The centros de acopios, being the middle man, take a large cut, and the recycling centers take an even larger cut, with scavengers left with a low income.  In fact, 85% of scavengers in Cochabamba, who dedicate their lives solely to recycling,  live below the line of poverty, 647 Bs./month (~$92 USD).

If you’re looking to recycle in Cochabamba, you can take your goods to any centro de acopio (just look for a little shack the size of an internet center stuffed to the brim with recycled goods) or you can take it to the centro de acopio of Ciudades Focales, which doesn’t make a cut at all–all the money goes directly to the scavengers– located next to Burger King.

Address: Av.Ayacucho, esq. Teniente Arévalo  (Burger King on the Prado, go down one block to Ayacucho and you will see a place with an adobe wall and a small wooden door.  It looks like a house from the campo. There is no sign.  It’s exactly at the corner, on the same side of the street as Burger King and about a half-block away from the Cine Arte café, opposite site.)

Ciudades Focales' Centro de Acopio from the inside. / El Centro de Acopio de Ciudades Focales

Hours: M-Sa., 10:30 a.m.- 12:30 p.m., 5:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.

Prices: Usually, 18 plastic bottles (1 kilo), smashed = 1.30 – 1.50 Bs.   10 plastic bottles, whole = 1 Bs.  Paper (1 kilo) = 1.50 Bs.  Glass bottles (1 kilo) = 0.10 – 0.30 Bs.

Ciudades Focales is thinking about rolling out an “Adopt a Recycler” program, where a scavenger will come by to pick up your goods every so often.  The relationship is solely between you and the recycler, with Ciudades Focales only providing the initial contact link (think: dating service) so you guys will be able to decide the details.  If you are interested, you can contact me at agnes.p.chu@gmail.com or (591) 73748819.


Como no hay una Sistema de Gestión Integral de Residuos Sólidos para Cochabamba, la mayoría del reciclaje se realiza underground, con los segregadores quien recogen la basura para encontrar botellas de plástico, papel, o botellas de vidrio para luego venderlas a los centros de acopio, los pequeños centros de almacenamientos que sortan los residuos sólidos y los venden a los plantas del reciclaje.  Los centros de acopios, estando los intermediarios, recibien una gran tajada/parte del dinero y las plantas del reciclaje reciben una más grande tajada.  Al final, los segregadores se quedan con un ingreso bajo.  De hecho, 85% de los segregadores en Cbba, quien se dedican sus vidas exclusivamente a reciclar, tienen ingresos bajo el sueldo básico, 647 Bs. cada mes.

Si quieres reciclar en Cochabamba, puedes llevar sus residuos reciclados a cualquier centro de acopio (busca una tienda el mismo tamaño que un internet café y que tiene los residuos reciclados se derrame fuera de él) o puedes llevar a el centro de acopio de Ciudades Focales, que no toma una tajada–todo el dinero va a los segregadores.

Dirección: Av.Ayacucho, esq. Teniente Arévalo  (Burger King en el Prado, baja una cuadra hasta Ayacucha y verás un lugar de adobe y una puerta de madera.  Lo parece como un casa del campo.  No hay un señalo.  Se ubica precisamente en la esquina, en el mismo lado de la calle como Burger King y media cuadra del Cine de Arte café, pero el lado opuesto.)

Horarios: M-Sa., 10:30 – 12:30, 17:00 – 19:00

Precios: Usualmente, 18 botellas de plástico (1 kilo), aplastadas = 1.30 – 1.50 Bs.   10 botellas de plástico, enteros = 1 Bs.  Papel, blanco (1 kilo) = 1.50 Bs.  Botellas de Vidrio (1 kilo) = 0.10 – 0.30 Bs.  Cobre (1 kilo) = 30 Bs.

Ciudades Focales está planeado presentar un programa se llama “Adoptar un Segregador,” donde los segregadores irán a tu hogar para recoger de vez en cuando tus residuos reciclados.  La relación es exclusivamente entre tu y el segregador–Ciudades Focales sólo proporcionar el enlace de contacto inicial (piensa: servicio de citas).  Si estás interesada, ponte en contacto conmigo en  agnes.p.chu@gmail.com o (591) 73748819.

Recycling your Wine and Yogurt Bottles

5 Jun

I’m so excited that I’ve finally found a way to recycle in Bolivia.  For the longest time, after many attempts of recycling in blue/yellow/green public bins only to find them full of candy wrappers and trash, I thought it couldn’t be done.  It was confusing b/c in Bolivia, as in other countries, you do get money for plastic & glass bottles, but there aren’t many bottle-collectors (as there are in the U.S.) and there’s litter everywhere.

As I was walking to buy a tucumano (yummy fried little fritter stuffed with chicken, potatoes, and meat), I bumped into a recycling fair, held randomly in San Pedro plaza, across from the prison.  There were people collecting batteries, glass bottles (30 centavos return), plastics, paper, etc.  Also a children’s organization which made toys out of plastic bottles.  And randomly, a group salsa lesson, sponsored by BancoSol.

Salsa Lesson at the park sponsored by BancoSol

Apparently, the government also comes around to collect your recyclables and you can call them to pick up your recyclables too.

The toll-free number is:  800-16-1777 SIREMU.   They collect:  paper, cardboard, plastic & glass bottles, and aluminum cans.

This means that I can finally recycle all the yogurt and wine bottles I’ve been gobbling up!

Addendum:  Today, a couple of weeks after I wrote this post and accumulated recycling, I actually called the number.  They said they would send somebody out, but nobody ever came.  :-(.

Delicious drinkable yogurt in a variety of flavors. 10B, Wine is 15B. That's right, there's only a 5b (65cents) difference b/w yogurt and wine.