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Recycling on Isla Mujeres

By: Isla Mujeres News

THE PRE-SCHOOL CHILDREN at several of Isla Mujeres�s kindergartens are being taught the 3R�s at a very early age, �Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle.� Environmental education in the classroom is only one of the strategies adopted by the Amigos de Isla Contoy to launch its ambitious �Community Program for the Sorting and Collection of Recyclable Materials on Isla Mujeres�.

In December, 2006, the collection of recycled materials began on Isla Mujeres. The project to diffuse the practice of recycling throughout the Isla community was developed by the Amigos de Isla Contoy, with the support of the Lighthouse Foundation of Germany and more than twenty local businesses. Together they raised the necessary funds to purchase a three-ton truck which collects and transports disposed products to the recycling centers in Cancun. Meanwhile the personnel of numerous local hotels and restaurants have begun recycling after attending workshops to learn more about the practical advantage of separating paper, cardboard, plastic bottles and aluminum cans in order to reduce the overall garbage usually generated by commercial venues.

THE TEACHERS AND PARENTS of the children in the kindergartens Tlaloc, Isla Mujeres, Ma.Enriqueta Carillo y Roa, Gabriela Mistral, and the Julio Sauri Elementary School also attended workshops to learn methods of clean recycling as well as ways to reduce contamination from garbage in the home. The schools are serving as collection locations where the families can deposit the recycled products when they pick up their children, and once a week the truck will collect the disposed items. In turn, the children will be rewarded with colorful decals, buttons, and posters displaying slogans or images of the Cahuama turtle which is the logo for the recycling campaign on Isla Mujeres.

Amigos de Isla Contoy (Friends of Contoy Island) is a non- profit Mexican organization made up of private citizens dedicated to the conservation of the natural areas of the Yucatan Peninsula including the National Park of Contoy Island which is an uninhabited nature sanctuary and popular ecotourism attraction near Isla Mujeres. Since its founding in 1994, the Friends of Contoy have allied themselves with local communities to take on projects of sustainable development in the interest of maintaining and restoring the Earth�s fragile ecological balance.

THE RECYCLING PROJECT on Isla Mujeres is patterned after the successful program developed at the University of Guadalajara by Prof. Salvador Garcia Ruvalcaba, who has been recognized by the United Nations for his work in this field. By joining the Friends of Contoy recycling initiative, we can reduce the pollution coming from the excessive accumulation of garbage which will result in a cleaner environment and benefit public health.

In the long term, the people of Isla Mujeres can enjoy a healthier place to live, and the island will enhance its image as a clean and appealing tourist destination. For information about recycling workshops, or pick-up dates and locations, contact Catalina Galindo de Prince, Executive Director, Amigos de Isla Contoy A.C. Tel. 9981-52 22 30, E-mail: [email protected] org . Volunteers welcome.

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