Loading...

Recycling Center

Recycling Center

Recycling at Pachamama Ecovillage in Costa Rica

Stop by during open hours:

8 am – 12:30 pm Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri (Closed Weds)

Tours for visitors: Tues or Thurs at 9 am

PachaMama’s Commitment As an Ecovillage: Minimizing Impact and Seeding Awareness

PachaMama’s Commitment As an Ecovillage: Minimizing Impact and Seeding Awareness

The mission of Pachamama’s recycling centre is to serve the planet by finding the very best use, reuse, or recycling option for everything that’s no longer needed—from glass, aluminum and plastic, to pre-loved clothing, costumes and household items. Come by to sort recycling items with support from the friendly team, and browse the Reuse Corner for second-hand treasures. Everyone is also warmly invited to join for a tour, a morning of volunteering, or one of the monthly beach cleanups in San Juanillo.

Beyond sorting bottles, cans and defunct earbuds, this work aims to seed an awareness of the impact of one’s consumption habits. PachaMama offers ecovillage residents and visitors the unique experience of witnessing what actually happens to the products no longer needed—and learning ways to reduce impact both individually and collectively. Because the truth is: that a lot bought that is not as “green” as it may seem.

What is recyclable—and what is greenwashing?

What is recyclable—and what is greenwashing?

One of the things that most surprise people the first time they come to the recycling centre is the fact that so many products labelled with three green arrows cannot actually be recycled—like Styrofoam, chip bags, and the tetra packs that oat milk or almond milk typically come in, to name just a few. It is common practice for companies to “greenwash” their products, or market them as environmentally friendly when this isn’t the case. Even types of plastic that can be recycled have a limited number of recyclable “lives”—some as few as 1-3—before they degrade and end up in a landfill.

Glass and metal are the only common packaging materials that are truly recyclable without losing their quality over time. Paper and cardboard—so long as they don’t include a thin layer of plastic or toxic ink—are recyclable as well as biodegradable.

Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

Refuse, Reuse, Reduce, Recycle

The reality is that even with recyclable materials like glass and metal, a lot of water and energy goes into cleaning, melting down, and remaking, which also has a cost to the planet. This is why the recycling centre embraces the motto: refuse, reuse, reduce, recycle.

Refuse

Refuse

After volunteering at the recycling centre, it’s common for people to walk away with a newfound commitment to refuse plastic water bottles, tetra packs, and other non-essential or single-use products and packaging that otherwise end up in a landfill. PachaMama requests visitors to please not bring in single-use plastic to the ecovillage.

Reuse

Reuse

The recycling centre works hard to facilitate reuse in the ecovillage and beyond. Before heading out to shop, check the Reuse Corner for second-hand kitchenware, candles, clothing, fabric, toys, bedding, and more. PachaMama partners with the Nosara Brothers, a family-run business that helps find new homes for shoes, CDs, fabrics and electronics.

Reduce

Reduce

Staying at PachaMama is a unique opportunity to reduce consumption. The Jungle Shop makes it easy to significantly reduce wasted packaging. Come by with a cloth bag, and grab bulk dry goods, nuts, seeds, and produce, without plastic being a part of the equation.

Recycle

Recycle

PachaMama recycles glass, metal, wax, and plastic that can’t be reused or repurposed. Guests are welcome to bring us everything no longer needed—except for food waste. For materials that cannot be recycled, like no-name plastics, the centre does its best to partner with local projects to transform the plastic into eco-bricks for building.

“My mother is Mother Earth. I cannot imagine doing a better thing right now in my life than cleaning and taking care of my mother.” —Dhanjot, Recycling Center Manager

Subscribe to the Newsletter