Club Sponsors Recycling On Baja Beaches
By JOHN M. DERBY
April 19, 2018
The Mulege Rotary in Baja California,
Mexico, recently approved a program to sponsor a recycling
project which would include eight beach communities along
the coast of the Sea of Cortez.
The club put up the first $1,000 to buy the necessary supplies
needed to collect the recyclables. Merced County Times publisher
John Derby, a member of Merced Sunrise Rotary, offered to
donate a $1,000 flatbed trailer to transport the material
to the nearest recycling center in Loreto, 60 miles south.
For many years there was a recycling center in Mulege, however,
as the cost of the recycled material kept going down and
the cost gas went up, the man who ran the center could no
longer afford to run the operation.
He moved to a much bigger town where there was more to recycle
and less work involved because most of the recycled material
was brought directly to him. In Mulege, he had to actually
go out and collect most of the recycled goods.
The latest recycling project was the brainchild of Tip Holloway,
who lives near Mulege in the winter, and in Live Oak, California,
the rest of the year. He is a member and former president
of the Mulege Rotary Club.
He was concerned about the accumulation of material being
piled up at the beach communities without any collection.
He organized a local recycling committee of about 16 members,
including a leader at each beach community.
During the winter, these beach communities accumulate a
lot of material which if not picked up would be buried or
burned. Tin cans, plastic containers, bottles, metal and
cardboard were all part of the residue of Americans and
Canadians, as well as other nationals from foreign countries.
Mexicans are environmentally conscious people but they have
very little expendable income to set up recycling centers.
Rarely does the government get involved with such matters,
and had the Rotary not stepped forward, then the recycled
matter would have become a major problem in the future.
The Baja community has done a good job of removing old car
bodies and parts from the side of roads. Also, there has
been a reduction of the amount of plastic containers and
bags which clutter up the otherwise beautiful scenery.
Mulege Rotary Club is a very active club, made up of about
half foreign residents and the other half local residents.
It hosts such events as the recent Chili Cook Off, the Pig
Races, as well as other fundraisers.
The money raised helps out the Mulege fire department, a
dental clinic and eye glass clinic, a clean water project
and the local ambulance. The recycling project is now another
worthwhile project which has been added to its list.
Nationally, the Mulege Rotary also donates to the main project
of Rotary International and that is to eradicate polio in
all of the world. Because of Rotary’s efforts there
are only one or two countries which still have polio.
Mexico is one of the many countries in the world where polio
has been totally eradicated thanks to the efforts of Rotary
While recycling may seem like a small matter for communities
in California, it is something which is much more difficult
to coordinate in Mexico where there is so little governmental
control or revenue to see that the job gets done.
Our motto has always been for gringos to leave nothing but
footprints, and take nothing but photos during our stay
in Baja, Mexico.