On May 11th the pupils from fifth and second year went on an excursion to the “Centro de reciclaje de la Ciudad Autónoma de Buenos Aires”.
We left early in the morning and were welcomed by one of the guides who works there. The guide took us to a big auditorium, whose floor was made entirely out of recycled materials. There she gave us some interesting information about what is done with the different of rubbish that is collected every day in the city. She also showed us some videos based on responsible consumption, how to recycle and what the three RRRs in garbage processing stand for: Reduce, Reuse and Recycle.
Afterwards we were divided into two groups, and guided to the recycling platform where organic rubbish was separated from the rest and turned into compost. There are four recycling areas: PET (plastic), Debris (material for construction), Trimming (wood turned into sawdust) and Organic. We got to see the workers in special clothes and helmets. Then we were taken to the second platform where we saw how wood and plastic were recycled by machines. One of them, The Beast, was in charge of turning wood into sawdust and wooden chips while rocks were broken into small pieces.
Some interesting facts:
- The amount of rubbish collected per day is equivalent to the weight of 1.000 elephants (6000 tons).
- We are all victims of programmed obsolence (those products which are meant to have a very short life span)
- It is important not to be influenced by the ads on TV that make us feel the urge to change our labor-saving machines for new models.
- It takes plastic 600 years to decompose.
- 15 trees are needed to make 1 ton of paper
It is a fact that we are all part of the problem but we should also be part of the solution.
Here are some important tips we should follow for responsible consumption:
- We should change our consuming habits.
- We should choose those products with little packaging.
- We should check for FSCCO tags in products (this means they don’t pollute the environment).
Now we know what we can do to help but, how does the government contributes?
- To prevent rubbish from being burnt, a landfill has been created. It is a piece of land (approximately 90 hectares) where the soil is removed, a membrane is placed in the hole and this hole is then filled up with rubbish. Some pipes are placed to obtain energy from the gas methane the rubbish releases. These areas can´t be used to build houses on them but they can be used as areas of recreation.
Before leaving, the guides provided us with recycling material to turn it into a piece of art and taught us how to make our own compost for home gardening.
We all came to the conclusion that it was a very useful experience because taking care of our planet is of vital importance to our future.
5th and 2nd Year Pupils