In preparation for the town fair of San Marcos La Laguna, the sixth grade class discussed what they love about life in San Marcos (the trees, the mountain, the view of three volcanoes, the jocotes!) as well as what they would improve. The problem with trash in our town was their main concern, and at the end of the town fair there was a lot of it around.

So as a precursor to their upcoming study of economics, the students began a short study of trash — its history, its sources, and its treatment. The municipality of San Marcos recently finished the construction of a trash and recycling center, so we thought it a good time to visit and see how it is operating.

The students were surprised to see the relative order of its operations and how much recycling was actually happening. The center separates glass by color, plastic by its type, paper by color, cardboard, aluminum and other metals, and then sells those materials to recycling factories elsewhere. What remains is buried in a landfill on site. The job of sorting the trash is so big and made such an impression on the students that several of them later asked if the class could come and volunteer one day a week. They especially enjoyed the job of breaking glass bottles against the cement storage containers!

Below are some pictures from our visit to the trash dump with the best view in the world.

This post is also available in: Spanish