Translated from Martes Financiero
LOPEZ ANGEL GUIDE
|Reuse. Copper with the gold are recyclable materials that have higher market value. PRESS / Eduardo Grimaldo|
In Panama, the money is “strip” literally in the trash. According to environmental experts, 90% of the waste generated at home can be recycled and thus generate income.
Every day 3 000 600 tonnes of waste ends up in landfills Panamanians. Millions of business opportunities are buried within 24 hours.
So I have seen some local and foreign investors.
While the eyes of most people see trash, the Colombian Rosario Arana seen fortunes.
The general manager of the recycling Recimetal remembers the first time he went to Cerro Patacón, from where he called his boss in Colombia to say that it was a good business to invest in Panama, “because here the money was spread all the ground.”
“I came for a month to conduct a market study to see the feasibility of setting up a recycling business in the country. I could barely an hour in Cerro Patacón to make the decision, “admits the business.
Ten years later, Recimetal has 9 branches and this has been joined by another 300 companies dedicated to recycle wastes millions of Panamanians throw the trash, a figure backed by the National Environmental Authority (ANAM).
These materials as diverse as oil, petroleum products, batteries, ferrous and nonferrous metals, inks, toners, glass, tetra pak cartons, computers, plastics and paper packaging.
And it is precisely that which has taken advantage of Bliss’s Recicling Panama.
Its owner, educator Alexei Castillo, created in conjunction with Lincoln College students a paper recycling project in 2006.
A few years later, what started as a school project turned into a company with six employees, which offers home delivery and collects what is collected in a small tank in the field of Carrasquilla.
“We recycle almost everything. From paper to batteries and plastic. Our growth is such that we should draw up a weekly route to pick up after my customers, “said Castillo.
On Monday, for example, covers the entire area of the Milky Spain, and Friday Albrook sector. The project was developed in the Business Accelerator of the City of Knowledge.
To date, the business has been quite fruitful for Castillo.
“For 300 pounds of paper I can be earning between 50 and 65 dollars.”
So much so that by the end of this year estimated to leave the classroom and is entirely dedicated to the recycling business, recognizing that customers had to refuse because he does not cope with so much work.
The hidden gold
Castillo and others have been able to get benefits to waste.
The disposal of some other’s treasure.
This theme fits well with Giovanni Carpanetti. Recitec The owner of a business dedicated to computer recycling, waste has been found in these teams for ‘gold cup’.
“People do not know who literally have gold on their computers. Most motherboards and memories have small parts of this mineral, which once cast can be a good income, “he says.
The entrepreneur explains that computer manufacturers use gold in memory and motherboards because this metal is a good conductor of energy.
Carpanetti admits that a waste has little value, but a lot of them they can represent thousands of dollars.
He fills a barrel of computer memories, which weighs about 150 pounds, and sends it to the company Colt Refining, recycling and refining company located in Connecticut, USA.
“They melt the material and I returned gold bullion (one ounce) or a check in the amount equivalent to what is sent. At current prices ($ 1,307 an ounce), after deducting all expenses can make $ 7,000 “he explains.
The idea to recycle computer parts came without warning while working as network administrator at a private company.
“Basically, I realized that companies tossed computers and did not benefit any of the parts made of iron, aluminum, copper, bronze and gold.
So, I took advantage and started collecting my own CPU (Central Processing Unit) to reuse, “he says from the graveyard of computers which has become his office.
Carpanetti lose nothing. Sold from the glass of the monitors to copper wire transmitters.
In his tank Parque Lefevre, along with their labor (three employees) cut into small pieces of computer casings made of Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene, or ABS plastic which is then sent to the multinational Dell in Costa Rica.
This reuses it for new computers.
This young entrepreneur has between his eyebrows the word reuse. Now being recycled watch batteries, from which extracted silver. To collect them, often goes to companies like Relojín, Citizen and Maxell.
The splendor of the recycling business has Carpanetti with a grin. The day before this interview closed the biggest deal of the year: the collection of 8 000 800 pounds of computers “largest commercial bank in the country.”
Small entrepreneurs are not the only ones who have used other waste usefully. Large companies are also doing their part.
Trash Isthmus is one of these companies. Each month use at least a thousand tons of paper, bond paper and used tetra pak and converts paper towels, sanitary napkin and Premiere brand.
“We have 35 years recycling. Every day the plant receives dozens of janitors and small entrepreneurs who come to the company to sell paper.
Per pound of regular pay three hundredths of a dollar, by the glossy seven hundredths per pound while on printed white papers delivered eleven hundredths pound, “says Ana Lorena Palacios, marketing manager of the company.
This business does not seem to stop.
Works 7 days a week, 24 hours, and yet what they bring local suppliers of recycled paper is insufficient because the company must import about 30% of the raw materials used.
Therefore believe that there are more beneficial to local recyclers “because we import waste paper is 30% more expensive,” says Luis Avila, manager of operations Trash Isthmus.
The case of Castillo, Carpanetti addition to the Isthmus of Recimetal and Trash are increasingly common in the private sphere. But the public and what is the state doing about it?
Unlike the Panama Canal Authority on a monthly sale of computer equipment have been removed from their obsolete assets, any public entity promotes recycling of its computers.
“The government is the main pollutant and does not seem to be doing much to remedy this situation,” admits Walter Fuentes, general manager of Computer Net, a firm dedicated to computer recycling.
“They change their computers every two years, and discarded at Cerro Patacón. It is up to us to go directly to negotiate with the pickers and convince them that the equipment is not out of landfills. Every time a truck arrives inform us and we will collect the material, “says the recycler.
In his defense, the government says it is working in this field. Julio Castillo, director of environmental quality protection of Anam, says his firm is engaged in developing a manual for the proper disposal of electronic waste government.
“We are speaking from fluorescent lamps contain mercury gas to computer monitors,” he says.
The official added that further talks are being held with the Ministry of Trade and Industry to work in the formulation of legislation that creates tax incentives for companies engaged in solid waste management.
“In Chiriqui, for example, you could install a company that is dedicated to gather the leaves of the trees that fall and with that material to make compost. Currently this product is sold in the market between the six and eight dollars a bag, “said the official.
While the government ends to define its policy in this sense private recyclers reiterated that garbage is constant and caring money.
Just pound cardboard paid to 3.5 cents a, while the pound has fluctuated computer this year between 10 and 15 cents.
However, gold also the most cost-effective to recycle materials is copper because today is priced at $ 2 with 80 cents a pound.
The growth plans of the recycling industry continues. The opportunities are there at your fingertips. The raw material is on the floor, are 3 000 600 tonnes of waste, equivalent to an equal number of business opportunities.
The numbers of the recycling companies are in blue.
In this sense, Rosario Arana, Recimetal manager, said his company “a million dollars bill monthly. We have branches in Colon, Chiriqui, Las Tablas, Chitre, Santiago, Santa Clara, Bugaba and before the end of the year we opened two more branches in Rio Grande and Nata.
90% of our customers are located outside the country, and our best customers are in China, Vietnam, the United States and Canada. “
What a paradox of the garbage business. In Panama there is so much that even the employers and are exporting.