“TriCiclos—and its experience with its Punto Limpio program—helps us face this challenge by tearing open the black bag, leaving us face-to-face with what we are a part of, and at the same time, teaching us to be truly accountable.”
It was a sunny Saturday. Even with the windows closed, I could feel it was going to be a hot day. I woke up excited.
I was in Santiago, Chile, and it was an unconventional morning, the day I was finally going to see one of TriCiclos’ Collection Points (Punto Limpio) after five years of working with them.
The first time I heard about TriCiclos, my heart rate accelerated. A small Chilean company fast expanding across Latin America working to create a world free from waste. The scale of the work and progress in building circular economic frameworks was impressive.
On that Saturday morning, I quickly got ready, then waited a few minutes for one of my colleagues at TriCiclos Chile to arrive.
Unlike the city of São Paulo in Brazil (where I live today), Santiago is a small and easily accessible municipality, which meant we were quickly at the desired location.
We parked the car at one of Sodimac’s largest stores in the city. The company is one of the main retailers of home and construction products in South America. TriCiclos has been partners with them since 2010 (when we installed our first Collection Point in Chile).
We walked a few meters to the store’s Punto Limpio, which is the size of a large container. It has 15 windows, with signage indicating which is the correct place for different materials (plastics, paper, glass, aluminium, etc.). It functions as a small-scale recycling centre.
What soon became apparent was the number of people turning up eagerly opening their black bags, and carefully selecting the correct packaging and place to dispose of it.
Some were even familiar with the high-density polyethylene packaging and polypropylene packaging. For those who were uncertain, TriCiclos agents were on hand to provide guidance.
More and more people arrived. Families with children, elderly people, young adults—a full mix of generations.