Everything can be transformed!

To commemorate World Recycling Day on May 17, let’s take a closer look at the success of the garbage management system at the El Tordillo field in Comodoro Rivadavia, where the operation reuses over 70% of the waste it produces.

Talking about the importance of recycling is always a good idea. Not only as an opportunity to share practices, efforts and results, but also, to echo what Lucía Pujana, HSE Manager at El Tordillo, says, as a call to action: “We realized that this kind of initiative is contagious, not only for people on the team, but because people take the habits they’ve adopted into their personal lives, beyond work.”

Waste ready to be sent for recycling.-

Together with Alejandro Leiva, Environmental Lead Supervisor, Lucia spoke to Tecpetrol Hoy about how this idea was born, almost ten years ago—an idea which continues to present challenges, every day: recycling waste from the El Tordillo field. A major undertaking!

“We’re based forty kilometers out of Comodoro Rivadavia, so our job is to work daily to ensure the least amount of waste possible is sent to landfill. We’ve been implementing a comprehensive waste management system since 2014 whereby we classify all items at our site. So, at El Tordillo, we employees separate our waste into inorganic (cardboard and plastic, mostly), organic (food scraps) and waste contaminated with hydrocarbons. Regarding the first two, inorganic waste products are segregated by type of material and compacted before being sent to a recycling center while organic waste products are composted,” explains Lucía.

Where does composting happen? There is a composting center which is managed under controlled conditions at El Tordillo. As organic residue has a very high natural value and is rich in nutrients, it’s used to fertilize the many green areas around the site and is also given away in bags. “When it came to recycling, the answer sprang from a question that we’re always asking ourselves: what things can we reuse?” adds Alejandro.

The steps for making compost at the composting area at El Tordillo.-

The results are pretty impressive. Over 70% of the waste created each day by a population of some four to five hundred people is reused. The truck carrying what is only garbage and cannot be recycled or reused only leaves the depot every two or three months. “El Tordillo is a place where recycling really works”, says Lucía with pride, in line with Stephen Wharton, Environmental Senior Manager, who adds that, "What the team is managing to achieve at the site is really amazing. The El Tordillo management model is truly one to follow!"

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