Energy Diet

Our Foolproof Trash System

Okay. This is the way we deal with the grubs.

We have a trash system that’s foolproof. It starts with a trashcan that’s divided into four compartments: one for plastic, one for aluminum and cans, one for paper and cardboard and the last one for trash in general. For plastic and aluminum, we rinse them out and let them dry before putting them in the bin so they don’t smell while they are collecting.

From here, everything goes to the “recycling room,” which is just a bunch of empty wine boxes in our garage where we pile the material that is later going to be taken to the recycling center.

We save the clippings from our mesquite tree for barbecues…

This is the recycling center in our neighborhood in Jurica.

This is where all of the recycling is received,

then formed into pallets.

There’s even a library with eco-friendly titles for the community to consult…

Christmas trees are turned into mulch.

They even collect used car oil…

Our kitchen waste goes into a little aluminum pail with a carbon filter on the lid for bad odors where we collect all the scraps from cooking, mainly fruit and vegetables peels and egg shells. We fill it and empty it out once a day, and then take it to our compost heaps in the backyard.

The compost containers are very inexpensive and easy to make, we just used normal everyday plastic trashcans and made some perforations for oxygen, light and draining. We rotate the waste between the three of them and get a full load of hummus every four to five months depending on how warm it is. Then, we use the brown gold for our vegetable garden and fruit trees.


  1. Christina
    February 7, 2011, 5:52 pm

    I love the photos — a library at your recycling place, how great! How far is it to your recycling center?

  2. Jeff Lewis
    February 7, 2011, 11:48 pm

    Love the simplicity of the organization for your recycling and composting. You guys are a shining example of how easy it can be to treat our planet better. We need to promote the local recycling center more…especially the extra details like the library and the ecological park they created there. Way to go guys!

  3. armonia rodriguez
    February 8, 2011, 11:56 am

    Wonderful Post! Mich! great examples!

  4. Daniela Buendia
    February 8, 2011, 3:23 pm

    I am so happy for you guys, you are doing an excellent job and the pictures are great!!

  5. yolanda
    Queretaro, Mexico
    February 8, 2011, 5:10 pm

    You have inspired us to be better citizens of the world….. we´ll start making changes at home today !!!!!! Muchas gracias por las ideas!!!!

  6. Rob Covey
    Washington DC
    February 8, 2011, 5:33 pm

    This is such a great post. Your photos are such a wonderful way communicate each point. Thanks and those posts and photos coming!

  7. Vivi
    Playa del Carmen, Mexico
    February 9, 2011, 10:23 am

    Wow, you are changing the future right now! thanks for the example. The world is already a better place, because of people like you!

  8. Michele
    February 9, 2011, 11:40 am

    Hi, our recycling center is 4 km (2.5 mi) away from the house.

  9. clipton
    February 9, 2011, 12:08 pm

    It’s great that they separate out the used motor oil. Not all communities have that.

    Cute dog!

  10. Ashley
    Ensenada, MX
    February 9, 2011, 12:30 pm

    Fantastic!!! where did you find the great trash bin with the separate compartments. It looks like a great space saver!

  11. Dave Chameides
    February 9, 2011, 8:35 pm

    This is fantastic and ironically enough, fairly similar to the system we ended up with after my year of not throwing anything away. The simple act of separating everything must go a long way towards educating you as to what you are a part of and helping you to make choices regarding your purchasing/refuse choices. Good on ya. What type of composting do you do -bin, pile, worm?

  12. Dave Chameides
    February 9, 2011, 8:35 pm

    Ok, scratch that last question as I had missed the final picture. Great stuff and a great education through visuals! Keep up the great work!

  13. Manuel Alvarado
    Calle 1 No. 213, Jurica Campestre, Querétaro, México
    February 11, 2011, 11:54 pm

    This is an example of the will of one person who believes in this subject and works hard on it. Maria Fernandez has been working in this subject since many years ago and was the first person who installed the PET demoletor in Mexico. This Centro de Acopio is one a leader in this country. Congratulations.

  14. Rocío Prado
    February 13, 2011, 2:27 pm

    Felicidades por ser ejemplo de lo que SI hace bien México!
    Este centro de acopio es un ejemplo de ser parte de la solución para el mundo mas que ser parte de los problemas.
    Rocío Prado

    February 14, 2011, 1:33 pm