Trashforma was born to use recycling in Panama City for social and environmental transformation. Today, it is a crucial partner for recycling management in Buenaventura.
Since the beginning of the program, more than 23 tons of material have been collected, and the goal is to involve the community and residents much more in the task. For this reason, this September 16, a recycling workshop called “Learn while having fun” will be held.
Nicole Vander Werf, founder of Trashforma, told us more about the event and the expectations for the recycling program in Buenaventura.
BVA What is the objective of the training?
NVW: The training aims to share with the participants the current reality of the garbage crisis in Panama, expose the problems, and learn about the consequences of said crisis. Then, they are presented with the different alternatives and solutions, and their benefits and contributions to the environment are explained. We also describe the environmental and social work that the Trashforma project has in alliance with the Remar Foundation and how, by participating, they also become part of the solution. In addition, we explain what happens to each of the materials that Trashforma recycles. Then, we show them the practical exercise of correctly recycling each material. We close with a motivation to join us in this work to achieve significant changes.
BVA: Who is the workshop aimed at?
NVW: The training is regularly aimed at work teams or families who will start recycling with Trashforma. All members of the team or family must attend so that it is a synergistic work where everyone contributes and understands that it is everyone’s responsibility and that everyone’s collaboration is critical to the project’s success.
BVA: What should people who attend the training learn?
NVW: They must learn that the correct management of the waste we generate is everyone’s responsibility and that we must all ensure we do it the best way. They must also learn how to recycle each of the materials properly.
BVA: What is done with recycled material in Buenaventura?
NVW: The material recycled in Buenaventura is taken to different recyclers in the country. Some materials are recycled in Panama, and others are exported to be recycled internationally since no industry in Panama recycles them.
BVA: How is the recycling plan going in Buenaventura, and what efforts can be implemented so that more people join in and become aware of the issue?
NVW: The plan has succeeded, with more than 23 tons of materials recycled. We aim to include the hotel and its operations and motivate more families in the Buenaventura community to recycle. It is elementary to become aware of a community that lives facing the sea and can admire its beauty, realizing how necessary it is to take care of it for the well-being of all. We want to educate the community about the effects and consequences of poor waste management and all the positive things that happen when we take responsibility for the waste we generate and the impact it has.
BVA: Are you preparing any unique plans for the next high season?
NVW: We have prepared some workshops for the children of the Buenaventura community and with the staff of the Buenaventura hotel to encourage recycling in the community and the work teams.