Puntos Verdes: Where and how to recycle in Mérida

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    Cities all around the world have started incorporating programs that help us deal with our waste in a more responsible way. Yucatán has joined these efforts with alternatives for citizens to take part in creating a more sustainable city.

    Green Point in Francisco de Montejo. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    One of the most notable initiatives is the “Programa Puntos Verdes” – or Green Points Program. Located in different parts of the city, green points are collection centers for different types of recyclable waste, such as cardboard, glass, and PET.

    Tetrapacks, cardboard, plastic and glass. Some of the materials recycled at this green point. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    The campaign has been around for around a year and a half, and it’s focused on promoting a culture of recycling and proper disposal of hazardous household waste.

    Before the pandemic there was even a mobile approach, where a municipal waste cart  would travel around the city collecting different types of rubbish. Today the cart is on hold, but we can still visit one of the many green points around the city. 

    Green point schedules. Wednesday to Sunday, from 10am to 5pm. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    There are over 100 Puntos Verdes throughout Mérida. The majority of these are rather small and will only accept specific types of waste.

    For example, the green point in Gran Plaza only receives batteries and small electronic devices.

    Yet if you’re looking for a point to drop everything off, you can visit one of the eight Mega Puntos Verdes or Mega Green Points.

    Recycling bins. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    These branches receive batteries, electronic devices, cooking oil, bags, wrapping, tetrapak, cardboard, HDPE and paper. Two of the largest can be found in Plaza Akrópolis, in Fraccionamiento las Américas, and El parque de la Alemán, in Col. Alemán. 

    Yet thought-out the duration of the campaign many more mega points have popped up around the city, one of which is located in Francisco de Montejo.

    Francisco de Montejo’s “Punto Verde”, located in Parque la Capilla. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    Erik is the foreman of this branch, and has been working there for about 6 months. Before that, he was working at the Plaza Akrópolis location, which he says was much busier.

    “This is a newer green point, so people are still getting familiar with it. Around 150 people drop by weekly. But at some of the better established locations we get around 400 people a week”, says Erik.

    Bottle caps are donated to organizations helping children with cancer. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    He mentions that they receive lots of tetra paks and plastics, but notes that only types one, two and five can be accepted for recycling. This information can be found on the bottom of plastic containers, usually a number inside the recycling logo.

    Here are some suggestions to keep in mind when dropping off our waste. 

    Preferably bring items already flattened and rinsed. It helps to avoid unnecessary and costly steps when separating the waste for processing. Also make sure that all cardboard and paper is dry when you drop it off. 

    Sideview of Francisco de Montejo’s green point. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    There are also some products which unfortunately cannot be received. 

    Larger electronics, like CRT TVs, washing machines, and photocopiers are not accepted. These larger appliances are usually accepted by scrap dealers, or chatarreros, but the city has its own campaign of descacharrización, in which a large garbage truck travels the city looking for this type of waste.

    Instructions on how to dispose waste- drain, peel off, squash, cover. Photo: Yucatán At Home.

    Other commonly rejected items include lightbulbs, disposable cake trays, and unicel items.

    The city hall has created a website where one can find all necessary information on Puntos Verdes and waste recycling. You can locate your nearest green point at the following link

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