Friday, May 11, 2007


Recycling-- in theory

Montevideo's municipal government installed recycling stations throughout the city. There are separate collection boxes for glass, plastic, paper, metal, and batteries. All of them have space for paid advertising on the sides.

The system is somewhat flawed since the boxes seem randomly distributed throughout the neighborhoods. So, for instance, the one recycling box near our apartment accepts only batteries. As a result, I've only recycled two AA batteries since coming to Uruguay.

The city has been running a cute campaign to promote recycling. An old T-shirt says, "En mi próxima vida quiero ser banda presidencial. RECICLAME." [In my next life I want to be a presidential sash. RECYCLE ME.] An empty toilet paper tube says, "En mi próxima vida quiero ser billete de mil. RECICLAME." [In my next life I want to be a 1000 peso bill. RECYCLE ME.] An old plastic cup wants to be a cell phone, and so on.

I don't think I've ever seen anyone deposit anything into the collection boxes, so I'm not alone in abstaining from the official recycling system. There is another, informal system that recycles a substantial amount of Montevideo's trash. I'll post soon on recycling-- in practice.

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