I believe myself to have some of the best-traveled recycling in the city. This is hubris, you might say. Why just the other day you went around the block to find a place to lovingly deposit your empty plastic bottle, and that is some darn good traveling.
It may be, my friend, it may be. But behold. This is where my recycling has been in the past two days:
If you we are friends on fb, you will know that I have been riding around town looking for the yellow plastic domes into which to put my recyclable plastic bottles. I know, I know, plastic will kill us all, and I just really like the bubbles in the agua con gas, and anyway, I’m trying to do the right thing here, so bear with me.
The red no entry signs on the map (generated from at mapmyrun, which I love) indicate where there should be, but are not plastic recycling domes. The one in Parque de Los Reyes I added in myself, because it does seem like a giant park should have some recycling.
There used to be domes in the Plaza Brasil, and also, a plaza which I am told is called Sta. Teresa de Los Andes but which everyone calls Sta. Ana, because that is both the church it is opposite and the metro it is at. First I piled all my bottles into a giant bag (squashed them first, so more would fit) and rode over to Plaza Brasil, where I struck out. In fact, there is no longer any recycling there, though there is a sign that says “Zona de Reciclaje” which is simply not true, unless they are in the business of recycling air. There are some nubs on the ground where the bolts holding the domes used to be.
Then it was off to Plaza Santa Ana or Teresa or whomever, where the glass dome is still in place, but the yellow plastic one has also gone missing.
Then I came home, and checked out the municipality of Santiago’s webpage, specifically the environmental section, and more specifically, the page.
And here I found that there is (or shall we say should be, in a small piece of foreshadowing) recycling at the following places:
Intersection of Portales and Cueto
Intersection of Libertad and Mapocho
And so I dutifully set off, bottles in bag, whereupon I discovered that lo! Nary a yellow dome. I can’t say I was completely surprised, although truly annoyed. But at least I got to have the following interactions with people.
1. Riding down the right lane of the Alameda to take a right down Bulnes to take the ciclovía, one helpful motorist suggested at great volume that I take the ciclovía. (he meant the one down the Alameda, which is in the middle of the street and does not directly connect with the Bulnes one). I have GOT to work on my flying bike skills, so I can leap, pedaling like ET from ciclovia to ciclovia, and stop bothering motorists with my presence.
2. Riding for 20 feet up a street the wrong way while traffic was stopped, to get to the next corner, by a person who walked out into the middle of the street to cross it, without looking in either direction, and who I absolutely did not come close to hitting, and to whom I apologized. Him: what are you doing? you’re going against traffic! Me: What are you doing? you’re crossing in the middle of the street! Him: But you’ll get hit! Me: so will you but not by me! Him: (making crazy sign with finger next to temple) What is wrong with you? Me: Do they not teach you how to cross the street in this country? (maybe not my finest moment, but I did not mention his mother even once in this detente).
Then, because I was worried my recycling had not yet gotten enough air, I brought it to the bank with me. I parked my bike outside and left them dangling from my handlebar. I hoped someone would come along and steal the bottles, but had no such luck, and now we are all safely back at home, ready to write a scathing note to the municipality to find out where exactly, in Santiago Centro I am supposed to recycle my bottles. If a 10k loop isn’t a wide enough net to cast, perhaps I should go further? But the truth is, I’m probably going to end up bringing them up to another comuna in the coming days. Which annoys me no end. Come on Santiago Centro, get your act together. I’m pleased as punch to see the street signs back up, but how hard is it to get your recycle on?
And so ends my recycling rant for today. I was actually wondering if I could shred them myself and turn them into something useful but then I remembered I don’t even own an iron, so it seems unlikely.
Please write a letter. I wanna know what the municipalidad have to say for themselves.
And as for the dude crossing the road…I found myself humming this the other day:
Bet they don’t have a similiar jingle rattling around in Chile.
Letter is written. Also, cute cute jingle. Here we just get the animita, for after they don’t look right left right, or left right left or whatever you should do here.
and also, here is a similar era PSA from the states about pollution: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gZB7gSQRIuM
Loved Hector, the cat! BTW, in my building, the protocol is to put all your recyclables in the stairwell where they magically disappear.
I had always presumed that the building had a recycling policy. So, instead of throwing it down the trash chute, I’d been placing bottles and newspapers by the stairs until I ran into the cleaning lady one day who was going from floor to floor picking it all up.
When I asked her about recycling, she gave me a blank look and said, “¡No-po! Es para la basura.” They’d been throwing it away all along!
yeah, they don’t want you to put those down the chute, because the glass breaks and the paper gets stuck. Not because it’s recycled. Another reason to move! Not that that helps me much. I like my apartment, but will have to bike my recyclables uptown, unfortunately!
I guess I’m really fortunate to have a pretty and shiny recycling center at walking distance. But seriously, I’m surprised that Stgo Centro doesn’t have one of those chutes. Have you tried a big supermarket?
I don’t know how big the supermarket should be, but the Sta. Ana in República is the biggest one near me and they don’t recycle plastics. The next time we meet up near where you live, I am totally bringing my recyclables, like I did when I went to visit another friend today in Ñuñoa. BTW, you don’t happen to know where Zalaquett lives, do you? I could bring him a present…
I’m glad you’re writing a letter! It should not be that hard to recycle, Zalaquett.
There used to be a recycling dome in the plaza next to the Santa Isabel on Almirante Latorre, but it might be long gone by now, too.
oh yes, that’s the supermarket I was just talking about, and last I saw, there was not one in that plaza, but I will look more carefully the next time I am there, though I’m always on the lookout for the pretty yellow dome! But at least we can go bowling. (I know you know what I mean!)
I do indeed! I once seriously considered having a Japimax birthday party.
I have been to Japimax! When they were first inaugurating. In Chile at the time you played by the hour, not by the game. I went with just one friend. You’d be amazed how painful it is to throw a bowling ball on and off for an hour with just one friend!
Forget the letter. Put a ribbon on the recycling and deliver it in person and with considerable (sarcastic) love to their offices directly. 🙂
hahahah! i would have given up by now… good on ya!
Not sure if you already looked at these, but plataforma urbana addresses how to find recycling stations in Stgo: http://www.plataformaurbana.cl/archive/2009/01/25/%C2%A1%C2%A1quiero-reciclar-%C2%BFdonde-reciclar/
If all else fails, this is the website of the recycling student org at la Catolica. http://reciclauc.ceuc.cl/donde-reciclar/
I can promise that all the campuses listed have really good recycling set-ups, maybe Casa Central would be close-ish for you? Wonderful blog by the way!