Zero Waste in Chile

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Britkid
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Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Britkid » Tue Dec 26, 2017 1:54 pm

¿Cómo es vivir tratando de no generar basura?
http://www.t13.cl/videos/nacional/video ... esperdicio
The video is 20 minutes long and was originally shown on TV a few days ago.

Even allowing for its status as a less developed country, Chile is far behind European countries in recycling. According to this video there is a stat of Chileans not recycling something like >90% of rubbish compared to closer to 50/50 for the average of OECD countries which rings true.

On the drive back from the mall recently, we found a short cut down a dirt track but it goes past past huge piles of rubbish by the side of the road. However, I find this to be highly appropriate since it is the mall that is ultimately causing all the rubbish.

There is also a supply-side issue with the recycling, however. What recycling facilities that do exist are often full to the brim (at least judging by Talagante and the Plaza Oeste mall which are the ones I use). So even if people do decide to recycle more the government will have to create more of these facilities, and staff them.

I am also trying to generate less rubbish in the first place (that is what the video above is really about, not recycling), for example by saying "sin bolsa" all the time like the woman in the video above. You have to learn to say it at just the right moment (does anyone else do this?). I also figured out that taking a rucksack with you when you go out is good for the environment, because you can carry and reuse bags, take a bottle of water with you using an old bottle rather than buy a new one and so on. Last week I actually used my own cup in a service station for the first time.

At least Chile is ahead of Bolivia and Peru. In Peru I recall people throwing their rubbish out of bus windows and the Bolivian's idea of waste management was to just drive everything to the edge of town and leave it in the desert.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

bert.douglas
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by bert.douglas » Tue Dec 26, 2017 3:23 pm

In 1000 years people will be mining the landfills.

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Space Cat
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Space Cat » Tue Dec 26, 2017 5:03 pm

Which European countries? So many people try to compare Chile to Western Europe when all the country's stats are somewhere near Poland and Slovakia.

Picking the correct weight class doesn't make things magically better but decreases expectations and disappointment. 😌

Britkid
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Britkid » Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:01 pm

Chile's recycling rate, according to the TV program, was much worse than the average of OECD countries. That means most of the European countries including Poland and Slovakia and most of the other major economic powers of the world apart from China.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OECD#Current_members

According to this https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/waste/ ... -countries Slovakia is slightly better than Chile with 10% only recycled and Poland is much better than Chile with 32% in 2014. Scroll down until reaching the second graph.

Chileans still probably cause less enviromental damage per person that people from developed countries, but only because they are poorer. 10-20 years ago the carbon footprint (for example) of a Chilean was far behind Europeans and North Americans. But since then Chile's has been steadily increasing, while US, Europe etc are declining. If current trends were to continue, the average Chilean's carbon footprint could be worse than a European in another 10-20 years.
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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Space Cat
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Space Cat » Wed Dec 27, 2017 2:04 am

Many not-so-rich countries from your link multiplied recycling by 3-10x in 10 years. I don't think it will stay forever at 10% here either (except there's no pressure from EU like in case of European countries).

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admin
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by admin » Wed Dec 27, 2017 9:41 am

Britkid wrote:
Tue Dec 26, 2017 11:01 pm
Chile's recycling rate, according to the TV program, was much worse than the average of OECD countries. That means most of the European countries including Poland and Slovakia and most of the other major economic powers of the world apart from China.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/OECD#Current_members

According to this https://www.eea.europa.eu/themes/waste/ ... -countries Slovakia is slightly better than Chile with 10% only recycled and Poland is much better than Chile with 32% in 2014. Scroll down until reaching the second graph.

Chileans still probably cause less enviromental damage per person that people from developed countries, but only because they are poorer. 10-20 years ago the carbon footprint (for example) of a Chilean was far behind Europeans and North Americans. But since then Chile's has been steadily increasing, while US, Europe etc are declining. If current trends were to continue, the average Chilean's carbon footprint could be worse than a European in another 10-20 years.
Bunch of things for Chile on the green footprint thingy. First and foremost, 17.5 million people. Chile is hitting the development sweet spot, which is more or less going over the developed country hump (however you define it), in an time when we are at the end of the gas car. Chile imports over 50% of it's manufactured goods. No need or opportunity to fire up an entire industrial chain in Chile to for example put cars on the street, or whatever other product. Chile's foot print, is really someone else's foot print. If they stop making gas vehicles, chile has to follow if they like it or not.

They finally got the national grid fully connected north to south. The last few years, the solar electric plants up north have been giving away energy for brief periods. Over the hill from me in the south, I got a mega wind farm under construction. I really expect the price of electricity to drop like a rock in Chile in the next few years, and a vast majority of it to come from renewable.

By the way, cities across Chile are banning plastic bags. Companies are starting to thus do it nation wide, just to keep it simple for them. I kind of find in annoying at times, but it is happening, and I get it.

The frigen garbage piles however, are directly caused by the rotos that are too lazy to use the city garbage systems, and the lazy cities that will not prosecute. Typically there is a local socialist party Mayor that does not want to upset their socialist base, in the same way they don't want to disturb the families of the thieves. Nothing to do with environmentalism, beyond some vague abstract socialist philosophy that justifies the environment is there to be exploited for political ends.
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Space Cat
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Space Cat » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:00 am

Ah, right, Los Ríos banned the bags region-wide last year. Small stores still use them but supermarkets force you to buy a reusable one.

The hardest problem will be starting fining people in the central regions for throwing their trash to the sides of the roads. We don't have this problem in the south in general.

Donnybrook
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Donnybrook » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:05 am

The difference usually starts within your community. The municipality is key to educating people to deal with their trash. But it takes money to do on a large scale. Las Condes has done some stellar work in choosing specific dates and areas for picking up large items like refrigerators or furniture which people leave out on that day. They also distribute special (recycled) bags for smaller items like plastic bottles.There is a campaign to stop giving out plastic bags in supermarkets in the comuna. Jumbo will only give you three now, none next year. This last one is borderline dubious as people use those bags for rubbish and now will buy plastic bags for that purpose, but it does send a message. Macul has had a recycling pick up service (bottles, plastic,glass for years (at least I hope it is still in place) and it is not a rich municipality.

A lot of recycling is done by the cartoneros in Chile. With their tricycles they collect what they can sell and that includes paper, cardboard, and glass. All of it gets recycled.

I think those statistics will change as people are pressured into being more careful about what they throw out and where they do that. I think things are miles better than when I arrived in Chile. These things take time but people are more aware now.

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Space Cat
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Space Cat » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:08 am

You can buy decomposable bags for rubbish but they cost 5x more currently.

Also I noticed that all the big soda bottles are now recyclable and you can return them to get some pesos.

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eeuunikkeiexpat
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by eeuunikkeiexpat » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:10 am

San Antonio area has specific areas within walking distance for most residents to deposit plastic and glass bottles. Some points also have a battery disposal box.

Supermarkets here will stop using plastic bags in March so in my previous visit to the States, I stocked up on a pack of quality washable shopping bags wihtout gay colors or designs or advertising bought on Amazon.
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frozen-north
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by frozen-north » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:49 am

Britkid wrote:
Chile's recycling rate, according to the TV program, was much worse than the average of OECD countries. That means most of the European countries including Poland and Slovakia and most of the other major economic powers of the world apart from China.
Well, it looks as if the recycling rate of those countries is going to have a problem:
Thu 7 Dec ‘17

Chinese ban on plastic waste imports could see UK pollution rise

Chinese restrictions from January will hit UK recycling efforts and risk plastic waste being stockpiled or ending up in landfill, warn industry leaders

https://www.theguardian.com/environment ... ution-rise
Nov 01, 2017

Recycling crisis hits Quebec as China rejects waste imports

About 60% of materials collected in Quebec are sent abroad, mostly to China

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/ ... -1.4383151

Britkid
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Re: Zero Waste in Chile

Post by Britkid » Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:58 am

Space Cat wrote:
Wed Dec 27, 2017 11:08 am
You can buy decomposable bags for rubbish but they cost 5x more currently.
Looking at the comments elsewhere on the thread, it looks like the plastic bag banning is further advanced than I thought. What I’ve heard about is 1 or 2 shops announcing they were phasing them out (either in central region or nationally) and I think it was possibly Ripley and Sodimac. However, I have never been in a (large) shop that didn’t have one, or been charged for one. I think charging is the way forward rather than banning. If they make it 100 or 200 pesos per bag that should cut down usage by a lot, while still allowing people to use them when they don’t have another bag.

We only reduce our usage to the extent that we still have enough for the little bins for toilet paper. If I’m going to reduce plastic bag usage further I need to find a more ecological bag for the toilet paper bins. I think I might have mentioned this in the past, but I still wasn’t yet able to find biodedegradable bags in Chile for this or some other solution.

I think it might have been mentioned on the forum before, but where can I get these decomposable bags? And do you know what would be a name in Spanish for them if I want to ask for them?
In 2014/2015 I blogged about my life in Chile. http://web.archive.org/web/201601121940 ... age_id=268

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