Photo Feature by Caridad, text by Irina Echarry

HAVANA TIMES, July 31 – The Cuban government recovers 16 types of waste. Among ferrous-types of scrap, it gathers steel, cast iron and stainless steel; while non-ferrous metal debris includes aluminum, brass, copper, lead, tin, and zinc. In terms of non-metallic materials, plastic, paper and cardboard, textiles, glass containers, photographic rolls, x-ray film, wood, toner and printer cartridges are collected.

A large percentage of soda pop and beer cans are also recovered thanks especially to a system of “material incentives” for people to take those to waste collection centers. Better coordination would allow communities to make larger contributions of raw materials, but classic bureaucracy and the lack of transportation result in thousands of tons of raw material being lost in our country annually.

This of course goes without mentioning the waste of companies. Though there are not as many of these as in other countries, there are the enough to damage the environment. Instead of being recovering electronic goods, these firms incinerate many of them, thereby damaging ecosystems and people’s health.

By carrying out a more organized plan, our country would recoup great benefits thanks to the recovery of waste. The media undertakes campaigns in support of creating an environmental awareness among the public, but there is still a lot to be done.

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One thought on “Recycle, Recycle, Recycle

  • A country can’t claim to be fully socialist and not be recycling 100% of its waste products. And conceptually, there cannot truly be such a thing as industrial or municipal “waste” in a socialist society: because *everything* material being used should remain a resource under socialism — only existing at one point or another in the production cycle. A goal of socialist production, in fact, is to be able to handle all such resources using fewer and fewer inputs — the most important of which will always be energy. And so this process of successive refinement requires constant research and development. And who’s doing that?

    The capitalists yack about waste, with their ‘greenwash’ scams operating at every turn these days; yet often enuff sloughing off their endless waste problems onto mafia-run “waste-management” companies — which dispose of the problem ‘elsewhere’: more and more onto the shores of “Third World” countries. Hell: the only real reason capitalist governments address this problem at all is because their cities are simply drowning in all this anarchically-produced crapola.

    Socialists should not only be able to do waste recycling rationally — and a lot better than the capitalists — but also be able to effortlessly turn this process into an integral part of the entire production cycle itself. Think of all the jobs in this field which could and should be easily available in Cuba and elsewhere with the appropriate political will, and widespread social understanding…

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