The San Francisco Saludable Project was officially launched on May 20th 2008 with the opening of the SFS office, the formation of a Solid Waste Management Committee and the first day of work for Leonardo, the Project Coordinator and for Virgilio and Jose, the two Environmental Promoters. The project’s first two months of work yielded essentially only administrative and preparative advances due to bureaucratic obstacles and the inexperience of the SFS team. During this time, the SFS office was renovated, furnished and equipped with a computer. Community authorities donated two terrains to be used for all our waste management activities. Then, the existing Casa de la Basura was taken apart and transported to the new terrain and the old recycling materials that had been stored therein were packed and transported. At the same time, a new Casa de la Basura – aptly renamed the Recycling Collection Center – was designed and its construction materials ordered. We also coordinated with the local school authorities for the implementation of an environmental education curriculum.
The last three weeks (starting August 18th) have seen considerable advances in the project’s work pace. With the help of Ciudad Saludable we have been able to build improved infrastructure to handle the waste stream in San Francisco. This includes the construction of the new Recycling Collection Center, a Compost Plant and a Sanitary Landfill. Our current plan of activities includes weekly collection of solid refuse in three classifications; organic materials, recyclable materials, and non-recyclable materials – known as “common refuse”. Each day a different material is collected:
Organic materials – Monday, Wednesday and Friday
Recyclable materials – Tuesday and Saturday
Common refuse – Thursday
At the time of this post we are in the process of completing the construction of the Recycle Collection Center and a movable roof for the sanitary landfill. These activities have limited the daily waste collection, which we expect to be fully functional by September 8th. The Compost Plant has begun production and the Recycling Collection Center will be in place by Monday to store recyclable materials. However, we will have to wait until the roof of the landfill is in place to begin landfilling materials.
In conjunction with the technical activities of our work, we are also developing a comprehensive education program. At the beginning of this coming week (09/08/08 to 09/10/08) Ciudad Saludable is presenting a workshop to the educators of San Francisco’s three educational institutions (pre-school, primary and secondary school). This certified workshop, which was developed by the Ciudad Saludable team and certified by the Regional Directors of Education for Ucayali (DREU) of the Peruvian Ministry of Education, will train each educator in the basic principles of solid waste management and environmental conservation, the use of environmental education tools and will prepare them to develop their own environmental education projects for their students.
We have also designed an informative brochure in the Shipibo language that explains our collection schedule and will be used for door-to-door canvassing, educating the community about our work. This brochure is currently awaiting printing in Lima.
Furthermore, our recently acquired projector was tested and we are currently equipping the SFS Office for the second coming of Cine San Francisco. This season, we will no longer charge a bottle as an entrance fee*, but rather conduct small educational workshops prior to each screening; thus, the entrance fee will be twenty to thirty minutes of exciting educational activities.
Thus, September finds us with a near to operational technical infrastructure and an educational plan that is just starting to generate momentum. We expect to finish the month with a fully operational daily refuse collection and treatment system, hopefully seeing the positive results of our educational program through the adequate separation and participation of the population in the daily collection.
*See this Clean Up the World article from 2005, Now showing: Peruvian Community Gets a Facelift, for more information.