Generating an “Environmental Culture” in the community, the purpose of the Retirar SA Company

Generating an “Environmental Culture” in the community, the purpose of the Retirar SA Company
Generating an “Environmental Culture” in the community, the purpose of the Retirar SA Company

The Public Services Company of the municipality of El Retiro has been covering 100% of the urban area in terms of waste collection and the use of waste, which is recycling and the treatment of organic waste.

In rural areas they have close to 100% coverage, and although there are some areas they do not reach, such as La Honda, it is more for logistical reasons, because it is far from the urban area and because of its technical conditions that make it difficult to reach, their service provision is very high.

Alexander Rincón, who is the Manager of the company Retirar, says that they currently have four compacting vehicles, one of them a double-truck, which are the ones that do all the collection of useless and organic waste, they also have three stake vehicles, one NPR, which are turbo, which also helps them with the issue of material utilization, in a service coverage in the entire urban and rural area.

He highlights that in the municipality of El Retiro in recent years, they have made great progress in the area of ​​civic culture. “We have been working very hard on the issue of separation at source, thanks to that we are currently a reference at regional and national level as a municipality that generates spaces for citizen culture.”

He added that: “We are treating 100% of the organic material generated in the urban area, which is around more than 110 tons of material that is no longer taken to the landfill on the meadow. We know what is happening with the meadow at the moment and we are taking advantage of that material. We are treating that organic fertilizer with a third party and we are returning part of this material as a soil improver to urban and rural areas. We have delivered almost 2,000 bags of soil improver to farmers, which is the transformation of this material.”

The official clarified that the municipality currently does not have a removal plant, and the process is done through a third party, which is an ally of Rionegro and another of Medellín, in San Antonio de Prada; and for the recycled material they do have a plant, “We have the ECA, which is the Classification and Utilization Station, there we have 16 people, 16 families that depend on this ECA, we are utilizing between 70 and 90 tons of recycling per month, in this same plant we do all the classification, separation and sale of the material, it is a plus that the municipality also has that it can count on a classification plant for the recyclable material,” he explained.

Currently, the municipality of El Retiro has around 13,200 subscribers, we multiply by 3 on average, they are having more than 26,000 people; “The municipality is growing, it is a municipality of significant expansion, more or less, it is almost half and half, more or less 6,500 in the urban area and the rest in the rural area,” the official adds.

From the Municipal Administration and from the Retirar Company, they have been generating a citizen culture in the municipality with the issue of keeping spaces clean, that is why the ESP Manager reiterates saying: “We invite both locals and tourists to use the spaces. We have underground containers. We are the only municipality in the East that has an underground container system, where the community can classify the material, organic, unusable, recyclable, so that the community and tourists who come can dispose of them. There are 60 to 70 baskets at the entrance and the exit, but in many external areas there are none, because we invite people that the garbage or waste is their own, and if I eat an ice cream, I can save the packaging and call it home. That is what we are generating, civic culture both among locals and tourists.”

As a strategy to support this environmental and citizen culture, in El Retiro they have the “Environmental Watchmen“, There are nine trained people who are at all the events held by the municipality and are aware of all the tourists, guiding them to the location of the baskets, or if there is no basket, inviting them to keep it or to keep it so that they can later deposit it in an appropriate place.

The community’s commitment is great, and Manager Alexander Rincón points out that: “Here, the level of people who perceive the message is very high, for that very reason they are good indicators of waste utilization and treatment. We are talking about treating and utilizing almost 300 tons of material, but that is reflected in the fact that people do a good separation of this, and that is where we can make the municipality a reference in this matter of Environmental Culture.”

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