Joint work between the Municipality and the Technological Development Unit of the Universidad de Concepción.

The care of the environment and recycling is paramount for the commune of Santa Juana, especially considering that it has the first composting and recycling plant in Chile. In this context, an important agreement was signed between the Municipality (Environment Office) and the Technological Development Unit of the Universidad de Concepción, the initiative is called “Recycle the Mask”. There will be several collection centers in different locations: Hospital, rural health centers, Municipal Health Department and Municipality.

Other recycling initiatives are currently being developed, among them the campaign “Recycling of unused batteries” and also the recycling of waste that goes directly to the composting plant, therefore one of the main focuses for the Municipality is to be a green commune. Regarding the campaign with the UdeC, the professional of the Environmental Office Claudio Garrido emphasized that, “We are launching this campaign, this initiative is one of the first at regional level and we seek to recycle the largest amount of masks in disuse, distributing different collection centers such as; hospital, rural posts, Municipality and Municipal Health Department”.

Meanwhile, the Executive Director of the Technological Development Unit of the UdeC, Alex Berg indicated that, “Masks are fundamental nowadays, there is no doubt that they are indispensable and we will continue to use them for a long time, However, they have a dark side and it is basically that the masks are made of polypropylene which does not degrade, which is a contradiction, we use them for a few hours, a day and the material they are made of lasts for 400 or 500 years, therefore what we are looking for is to reduce the environmental damage it causes. We have to reduce improper accumulation and we do this by reusing the material they are made of. Here it is collected and disinfected, which is fundamental, since it cannot be manipulated. The subsequent process is to grind them, pelletize them and finally give life to new products that can be very different, such as pencil caps, garbage cans, flower pots, in short, a series of products”.

Source: LPEM