Recycling in Belize

Island Style Recycling and Household Battery Collection

Living on an island can turn you into a bit of a hoarder. Sometimes it is a case of not knowing whether you will see a certain item again and you might do one of a few things.

  1. Binge shop and buy it all up.
  2. Be sensible and buy what you need but walk away wishing you had opted for the first choice.
  3. Tell your friends there is a sale on, after buying the quantity you wanted.
  4. Play “Oprah Winfrey” and buy a bunch to share with people. I have been doing this a bit with a Nescafe Dolca coffee sale and vegetables.

It’s also all too easy to get itchy trigger finger when someone is moving. My friend Aimee scored a heavy-duty robot vacuum and a bunch of other great items from a Facebook ad of someone that was selling off before moving. I did the same for my inversion machine, it was not something I really needed but the lack of being able to buy one easily had me wanting it more so. Plus it is a fun toy with health benefits to share with visiting friends.

Another way I have become a bit of a hoarder since I moved to Ambergris Caye is by saving packaging. Practicing recycling in Belize can be tricky, you have to get a bit creative, clean your recycling cupboards often and keep your spirits high. It may not feel like much, but saving something once from ending up in the ground is a big deal. One less from thousands of people = much less garbage in the long run.

Small round plastic sauce cups score points for usefulness. They make large sized ice, one cube lasts through two iced coffees. They are also a great way to tell if your freezer ever stops. Put a quarter on top of the ice cup, if it ever sinks you will know you had an unexpected thaw.

Recycling in Belize

The kitchen is my main source of recycling. I used to save clamshell containers and pass them to well-known brownie maker, Sandie, however, she has moved to Progresso, Mexico so I will donate them to schools to use for paint trays. The Lunchbox Home Food Delivery service gets all their plastic containers back (from many customers, not just me). They get sterilized and reused. I have had stacks of them at times as you can see in the photos below. She also gets any jars with metal lids for making gourmet flavored oils that get sold at Mahogany Bay (twice monthly and Truck Stop (once monthly) Saturday Markets. As you saw in my featured image above, I had another good batch of coffee jars building up to go to Maria’s Fruit Stand since I snapped the last two pictures of her delivery.

Recycling in Belize

Some containers are good for homemade dressings like the honey bear above. People can always get a to go drink and my water or mixed drinks generally come in a recycled vessel as you can see below.

Recycling in Belize


Sprinkle and Sparkle Clean

Spice containers are great for baking soda are great for a shakable all-purpose cleaner. Mix it with vinegar to get foaming action – great for sinks other water features, use with toothpaste to gently clean teeth. 

taco Tip #10

Baking soda and vinegar combo make a great environmentally friendly sparkling skin cleanser for this dusty island. Try doing it once or twice a week to deep clean your skin.

  • Soak face well in hot water to open pores. I use a hot Sinland Microfiber Cleaning Cloths Washcloth my friend Denise gave me along with two Microfiber Beach Towels with Drawstring Pouch Bag Pack. They are quick-dry, super absorbent and compact.
  • Apply baking soda on your face being careful of your eyes.
  • Close eyes tight – spritz vinegar on the face and feel the effervescence as it bubbles on your skin.
  • Let it “do its thing,” then rinse off or gently wipe clean with a hot washcloth for the extra cleansing action.
  • Rinse skin under cold water to close pores.

Battery Recycling Effort

As I mentioned above, one less from thousands of people = much less garbage. The kind of garbage is also important. I recently posted a picture on Facebook, of the crazy amount of garbage along the runway and the comments that stemmed from that were overwhelming. One of the comments was along the lines of what I was willing to do about it, so I decided to move forward with a battery recycling effort.

I just ordered three 5-quart clear, thick polycarbonate body C-Thru 5Q Battery Recycling Bin – battery recycling containers after having secured a few locations to be “collection depots”. Harmouch Center, Castillo Hardware, and SP Hardware are all on board. Extra thanks go to Harmouch; they were the first ones I approached and they immediately recognized this is a much-needed idea and offered to bring in the containers. I just got word today from Amazon they are in transit and will arrive at Hyde Shipping sometime between Wednesday, November 1st, and Monday, November 7th. Hooray.

Thankfully both the Department of Environment (DOA) and solid waste communications officer have been helpful. I have started doing my homework and printed out “Managing Uses Lead Acid Batteries” (sent by DOA) and “Household Batteries and the Environment,” that my editor Shirlee found. Now to put the rest of the puzzle together and figure out the required paperwork to barge or land transfer them out of the country and to a safe and proper recycling facility.

It is clear there is a need.

After Facebooking that I was collecting dead batteries, Cathy Woods Slattery was the first one to make contact and a rainy day donation to add to my small pile. Erica Barker followed not long after caught a ride in with her hubby on Laminar Fly, I met them at the gas station to collect a hefty 4 years worth of old batteries that she had been saving in a coffee can.

Battery Recycling BelizeOne last way I recycle here – I will always save working parts when electronics die and try to find matches for them. Facebook is an excellent way to do that and it saved everything below from ending up in the ground or sitting unused in a cupboard waiting to find a printer match. The battery and 2 power cords below were recently taken to The Palms. Ana said if they would not work for her, that she would find an appropriate home for them. The ink cartridges went to a teacher.

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