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Recycling in Mexico

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The market is proving popular. Queues start to form at 6am, and food nearly sells out by noon. “Now everyone in our family is separating their waste,” says Eugenia Trueba, showing off a bag of lettuce, sesame seeds and cactus leaves which she got for newspapers and plastic bottles. However, over half of visitors come by car, somewhat undermining the market’s green credentials.

The project does not break even. Each month the market sells 20 or so tonnes of rubbish to glassmakers, paper manufacturers and other firms for about 40,000 pesos ($3,100). The food, which the government buys from Xochimilco’s farmers at above-market prices, costs 90,000 pesos. Taxpayers pick up the difference.

The point, however, is to get people recycling, not to make money. Plans for new branches are under way, and the market may go fortnightly. The real test will be whether more households can be persuaded to recycle even without the carrot of free food in return.

Source : The Economist

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