Alex Miro is a dreamer. And a doer. And our hero.
In 2013 Alex created a detailed three phase plan to build a recycling center in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico.
In early 2014 he secured a sweetheart lease on a piece of land at the edge of Todos Santos.
Then on July 10, 2014, with the help of Los Amigos de Baja, we launched this kickstarter
campaign, which raised $5,600.00 USD, thanks to amazing community support, and successfully launched Phase One. Alex was in business.
20 SUPER SACS
5 BIG BOXES
2 WORK TABLES
4 FOLDING CHAIRS
1 DIGITAL SCALE
1 KIT OF BASIC TOOLS
PACK OF CLEANING SUPPLIES
That's all it took. He fenced the land and started gathering recylables. The next step plans are ambitious, and include adding machinery and infrastructure that will make the center fully operational.
>>>>>THIS VIDEO <<<<<<
will show you more! Please take a moment to meet Alex and the team, hear from our neighbors, and learn about our goals and dreams.
Check out the Todos Santos Recycling Center
It's a simple operation, and reliant on community cooperation- a 30 peso donation is requested. Every few months, when there is enough material to warrant a trip to La Paz (about an hour away) to sell the collected materials, Alex and team rent a truck, fill it with gas, pay a few workers to help load, and drive the materials over. This costs almost all the donations collected...ALMOST ALL THE DONATIONS COLLECTED.
Punto Verde makes less than $100 USD on an average month.
So as you can see, the business model is working, but barely. If not for the dedication of the Punto Verde team, there would be no recycling.
In March, 2015 we had an opportunity to buy a heavy duty truck, at an amazing price, from a local supporter. We raised the money, and fast. (Thank you!) And the Center became more efficient.
Here is Leon: (Isn't he handsome?)
And look at how happy it made Alex:
Since opening, Alex and his dedicated team have kept all of this out of the dump:
44,000 pounds of cardboard.
22,000 pounds of plastics.
22,000 pounds of electronics and electrical equipment.
13,200 pounds of metal.
880 pounds of motherboards, processors, etc.
550 pounds of various types of wire.
This is what the dump looks like, P.S.
It's unlined, everything is comingled and buried and/or burned, and it's directly above one of the loveliest beaches in the world. And people live here. In this dump.Some are children.
Here's a whole Dump Photo Album
if you would like to see more.
This is the beach downhill from the dump. Sometimes it rains a lot. Hmmm.
photo courtesy of Todos Santos Eco Adventures
And here's another kicker. Garbage that makes it to the dump is a sort of a best case scenario. Much garbage ends up simply dumped in the desert. Why? Maybe it's easier, closer, or perhaps the dump was closed that day. Maybe you paid someone to take your garbage away and trusted it would end up at the dump. It doesn't always. Another reason to reduce, reuse and recycle.
And that brings us to education. It's the only way things will ever change- we all know that. In conjunction with CSU Todos Santos
Alex created the Niños Verdes program to teach Todos Santos' youth about the importance of taking care of yo' mama. (The Earth; but word to your moms...) So far 259 kids have gone thorugh Alex's program. They visit the Punto Verde Recycling Center, learn about different recycling methods, the importance of reducing and reusing, and environmental threats. They leave with a sense of stewardship and take that home to teach their parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters, everyone. It's our big hope.
Along the way we've had some help- Rancho Pescadero
held a fundraiser for us and we were able to beautify and add signage. Thank you!
Check us out now:
Alex, Lupita and Luis have made Punto Verde work. So it's time to take the big leap and make this place SING. What is it going to take to make Punto Verde, The Todos Santos Recycling Center, a sustainable, efficient, profitable enterprise?
Luis, Alex, Lupita and Chula!
About $32,000 USD.
Here's a list of what they need, and what each item will cost. Some things, like the truck, have been purchased, but are included in the list to accurately reflect the original phased plan.
HYDRAULIC JACK $ 770.00
FORK LIFT $3,080.00
PLASTIC ROLLS OK
STRAPS & STAPLES OK
TRUCK WITH CAGE OK
SMALL GENERATOR $1,000.00
TRAILER WITH CAGE $2,500.00
BRING IN RUNNING WATER AND ELECTRICITY: $1,000.00
CONSTRUCT A WALL, FLOOR AND SMALL STORAGE BUILDING: $6,000.00
PERMITS $ 500.00
Any money raised beyond the total above, after commisions collected by GoFundMe, will be used to fund Niños Verde.
Additionally, we can are a legitimate A.C. Ecorrrevolucion!
in Mexico and can accept Mexican tax deductible donations. If you or your business would like to support the Center, or if you would like to make a direct local contribution and save us the commission, please call Alex directly at 612 145 0702. If you are calling from outside Mexico, please call +52.1.612.145.0702 or 011.52.1.612.145.0702
If you would like to donate directly to Niños Verdes with a tax deductible US donation in support of educational programming, we can also make that happen. These funds can only be used to fund workshops and education. Please make checks payable to Colorado State University and mail to:
c/o Kim Kita
6001 Campus Delivery
Administration Building, 3rd floor
Fort Collins, CO 80523
90% of all educational funds reach Alex directly. There is an expense to house and move the funds from the US non-profit to the Mexican non-profit. The legal and financial structures to make this happen are quite complex and unwieldy. We are quite fortunate to have this path.
And finally, if you have any of the above equipment sitting in Todos Santos or nearby and would like to make an in-kind donation we would be happy to take your unused trailer or generator off your hands...
We are, after all, reducers, reusers, recyclers.
Thank you, thank you, thank you.