This weekend we had probably the most difficult recycling experience of our lives. Recycling in Santiago already isn’t particularly easy. We make the pilgrimage up to Punto Limpio in Vitcura every couple months because we care about the planet and all that jazz, but there is still a pilgrimage involved – none of this home pick-up stuff I’m used to in the US.
This time, Rodolfo thought it would be fun to try the new recycling center he’d seen in Las Condes. Yes, this is what passes for fun in our world, switching up our recycling spot. We know, we’re pretty crazy.
So off we set toward Parque Araucano to do our part for the green movement. Unfortunately, I think we canceled out the goodness of recycling with the amount of gas we wasted trying to get into the damn parking lot. There is only one entrance (along Cerro Colorado, if that means anything to you), and of course that entrance required making several turns and driving a couple extra blocks.
We rolled up – finally – only to see a sign asking us to present our neighborhood credential showing we are residents of Las Condes. We live in Providencia. Because they’re just getting started and because there was literally no one else there except the employees who looked pretty bored, they let us recycle despite our incorrect address. In the future, however, we won’t be so lucky, although the good news is that we can still attend their informational talks about recycling.
Now don’t get me wrong, I think it’s great that there is a service to educate people about the environment and recycling. And I understand if this particular center doesn’t have the resources to accept recycling from all of Santiago’s nearly 7 million residents. But somehow I don’t think we’ll be making the trip just for the talks without even being able to leave our crap there.
So, back to Punto Limpio for us. Of course, that doesn’t solve our other recycling-related problem. You see, our apartment is often the gathering place for friends. And friends sometimes drink alcohol. And when we don’t have time to get to Punto Limpio for a while, we have a tendency to end up with a mountain of recyclables that makes us look like alcoholic hoarders.
Maybe that’s the real reason Las Condes didn’t want us.