Let's Recycle!

The Riviera Maya is one of the fastest growing coastal regions in the world.

Waste management - its collection, transport, disposal and treatment -- is a neglected and growing problem in Tulum and its surrounding communities. Trash collection is unreliable and in some cases non-existent. As a result, trash is often thrown onto streets or other public areas. There is also no effort to sort recyclables from pure waste.  

The waste that is picked up is disposed of in a landfill located 18 kilometers south of Tulum. It does not operate fully, in part because a generator is needed to allow the trash compactor to function. In addition, the landfill was not properly constructed, so it is likely to run out of capacity soon.   

The Art of Conservation’s ‘Let’s Recycle, Reduce, Reuse, and Respect Project’ aims to instill respect for the environment in the children by getting them involved in a hands-on effort to pick up trash and sort recyclables, using the current local services of our partnering communities in the municipalities of Tulum and Felipe Carrillo Puerto. The recyclables sorting effort is done in conjunction with another project in the area: No Mas Plastik. Our trash pickup/recycling project is part of the Art of Conservation’s core programming within our module called Environmental Health - Discovering our Blue Planet. Trash clean-ups continue throughout our programming; for instance during our Discovery Dive at Solimán Bay and the Sian Ka’an Graduate Retreat.

Our Goal: To promote sustainable knowledge and practices that enhance the health of AoC's students and their ecosystem through artistic, educational, and experiential programs.

Let's RESPECT and recycle!.jpg

Outcome 1: To clean-up the environment (community spaces, streets, beaches, parks) by collecting trash and transporting it to Tulum's recycling center

Output 1a: Plastic bins and/or garbage bags of trash collected.

  • Indicators - # of plastic bins and/or garbage bags of trash collected.
  • MOV - Tally sheet.
  • Target - 8 March 2017 for 2 schools - 3 plastic bins and 5 big garbage bags per school.

trash picked up in maya zone.jpg

Output 1b: Plastic bottles collected.

  • Indicators - # of plastic bottles collected.
  • MOV - Tally sheet.
  • Target - At least 150.

picking plastic_bottles.jpg

Output 1c: Target space is cleaned.

  • Indicators -% of target location that is cleaned.
  • MOV - Before and after photos.
  • Target - At least 80% of target area cleaned.

contaminated area trash_not_collected.jpg


1. Site determined.
2. Kids transported to site.
3. Group collects garbage and recyclables.

AoC Let's Recycle arriving at center.jpg

Outcome 2: To teach AoC students about trash disposal & recycling through the ‘Let’s Recycle!’ project field trip to the recycling center in the town of Tulum.

  • Indicators - % of students whose recycling knowledge improved.
  • MOV - Before and after questionnaire.
  • Target - At least 80% of students have at least 50% improvement in post-trip questionnaire score.

pre post questionnaire results.jpg

 Output 2a: Lecture given.

  • Indicators - Lecture completed.
  • MOV - Verification by staff.
  • Target - Lecturers Heather Froeming of No Mas Plastik and Cuauhtémoc Martinez from Tulum Municipality.

Partner Heather No Mas Plastik_speaks_to_kids.jpg

Output 2b: Provide a recycling experience by transporting and recycling collected materials.

  • Indicators - % of attendees that receive AoC’s reduce, reuse, recycle bag.
  • MOV - Tally sheet.
  • Target - 100% of students receive bags. 

Recycle_Day collecting materials.jpg 

Activity: Organize recycling trip, lecture, art activity, trash separation relay race, and snack.

Input: Students, trash bags or bins, transportation, staff. 

recycling at chumpon.jpg

 recycle day_art_work.jpg

Thank you to our partners!

  • Heather Froeming, No Mas Plastik
  • Cuauhtémoc ‘Temo’ Martinez Sayago, Manager of Tulum Recycling Center, Dirección General de Desarrollo Urbano y Ecología / Honorable Ayuntamiento de Tulum - General Director of Urban Development and Ecology for City Hall of Tulum
  • Municipalities of Tulum & Carrillo Puerto
  • AoC partner schools - E.P. Indígena Jacinto Pat and E.P. Indigena Lázaro Cárdenas
  • Ms. Deysi Juliana Landaverde Puerta
  • Mr. Javier Flota
  • Mr. Juan Ariel Pat Fernández, Supervisor of Zone 044 - Tulum, Servicios Educativos de Quintana Roo
  • Prof. María Concepción Dzul Poot, Supervisor for Felipe Carrillo Puerto municipality of México’s Secretary of Education
  • Maestra María Rebeca Blanco Xool, Principal of E.P. Indígena Jacinto Pat
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