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We have just spent the morning at the recycling centre for Santa Cruz. What to do with waste is obviously a serious issue as the resident population and tourism have increased.
The municipality is working hard to educate the general public about recycling. We smelt the recycling of organic waste, saw the rubbish coming in (general waste is collected daily) and the bales of waste going out which is shipped to the mainland about every three weeks for further processing. Much of the plastic goes on to China and then comes back again (and around the world!) in the form of various goods! The interpretation centre explained the problems created by waste and what was being done to try and solve them.
We then spent almost two hours helping out. Nick packaged materials into bales, looking happy and contented and very sweaty. Amy Turner, the girls and myself separated waste from a conveyor belt, each having our own resposibility - paper, glossy paper, newspaper, cardboard, different coloured glass, various categories of plastic (which I never quite got the hang of), cans.
There were bursts of frantic activity from Amy when lots of bottles came down - an awful lot of champagne is drunk in the Galapagos! We concluded that everyone in Britain should do ‘national service at a recycling centre – certainly made us think about our waste. The men working at the centre were a cheerful bunch and seemed to enjoy us participating – even if we did make mistakes.
We are off to the beach this afternoon. Nick, yet agin, is soooo excited – he is going to surf (whatever the height of the waves)!