In a sustainable society, recycling plays a pivotal role. It reduces waste and encourages an eco-conscious mindset among local citizens. Until recently, recycling was unavailable in La Fortuna. Items that could have been recycled – including tin cans, cardboard boxes, and plastic bottles – were instead thrown into the garbage and dumped into a landfill.
La Fortuna lacked a place where materials from homes and hotels could be taken, separated, and ultimately recycled. Anywhere Costa Rica, in conjunction with other members of the community, recognized the need for a local recycling project. A great deal of time and effort was put into planning a recycling center, and eventually the Z-13 Recycling Collection Center was born.
This center collects, separates, and salvages all of the recyclable material in the La Fortuna area. Hotels that were previously unable to recycle a huge amount of material now have a place to drop it off for sorting. Community members can now recycle their bottles and cans instead of throwing them into the garbage. The Z-13 Recycling Collection Center also collects used electronics. This is especially important, because some electronics have batteries that contain harmful acids. Proper disposal of these is crucial for environmental health.
Anywhere Costa Rica also helped form a commission called Fortuna Recycling Network (Red-Fortuna Reciclaje). This commission keeps the La Fortuna/Arenal area on track with recycling and proper disposal of waste. It helps collect recyclable materials from around the community and distributes containers for holding recyclable items. Fortuna Recycling Network also holds workshops on recycling and proper waste management.
Anywhere Costa Rica knows that recycling is just one part of the picture when it comes to sustainability. For a community to truly be sustainable, it must meet other demands, including social and economic sustainability. However, preventing recyclable materials from entering landfills is a huge step. We’re happy to do it and plan to keep making improvements in the environmental sustainability of La Fortuna.