Solar recycling workspace Colombian Pacific Coast

This is perhaps our great challenge so far, our dream project and after several months of work, many negotiations and many setbacks, we are very happy to show that if a better future is possible, that the barriers that exist are mental and wills, but that you can overcome and achieve great things.

It is our first recycling workspace, powered by a photovoltaic system in Colombia, with the 4 precious plastic machines and a traditional hydraulic compactor. for a total of 5 machines that work thanks to the power of the sun.This project is carried out in a coastal community in southwest Colombia, called Mayorquin belonging to the city of Buenaventura, Valle del Cauca, Colombia.
Approximately 40 minutes by boat, sheltered between mangroves and protected by the Rio Mayorquin basin that flows into the Colombian Pacific Ocean. Fishing tradition, this community of approximately 500 inhabitants is distributed in several small towns, but all are part of the Afro-descendant ethnic community, because they are a recognized ethnic group they have the right to a collective titling of the territory, and they are autonomous in their decisions.

This project is thanks to the agreement between the Western Regional Environmental Corporation called CVC. and the mayorquin community council, we Plástico Infinito, we are suppliers of machinery and technology transfer with the community.Since the end of 2019, we began to make a diagnosis with the community, seeing the problematic and understanding the different social dynamics that cause waste wastage, later the proposal of machines developed by is presented to the community and then of possible ideas that the community has to develop.This project consists of the installation of a work space to transform the local waste of the different towns belonging to the community of mayorquin, as an initiative of a productive process. It was developed in 4 phases, (Approach, Development, Delivery, Sustainability)This space is built with lego bricks of recycled plastic, which is provided by a company called Ecoplasso, within this space are the 4 PP transformation machines (shredder, injector, extruder, compressor oven) all in stainless steel to ensure durability in a saline environment and also an 8 ton hydraulic compactor for PET, also a photovoltaic system with 12 solar panels and 16 batteries.This installation is done in 2020 between February 24 and 29, we made a volunteer call to help us in the installation, for logistical issues, we only take 5 volunteers.This week the activities consisted of the installation of machinery and photovoltaic system, and a series of trainings to the host community, so that knowledge can be replicated to other residents. All activities were carried out normally and it was very well received by the community.The operation of the machines worked perfectly, the only recommendation is that only one machine operates at a time so as not to overload the photovoltaic system and with this ensure that they have an orderly production schedule.

The energy consumption of the machines were as follows:
* Start: 1.8A
* crushing: 7 A

Compressor oven
* 300 ° C: 10.2 A

* Preheat: 4.8 A
* Engine started: 2.6

* Preheat: 4.8 A

Hydraulic compactor
* Start: 2.1 A
* Start with load: 15 A
* Ascent: 19 A

Photovoltaic system supports:
* 25 A
* 2 days of autonomy

Daily average horizontal global irradiation, for the project area is: (4.0-4.5 Kwh / m2 / day)

This area is a tropical rainforest ecosystem, with high rainfall throughout the year, so it rains frequently and with relative humidity of 80%.

Now we are waiting to do a monitoring again in 3 months, hoping that the community has good results, so see you in 3 months with the results of the project.After this, the monitoring is at 6 months and one year, guaranteeing accompaniment to the community and visibility.


I have noticed great improvement by using thick isolation around the oven. You might be able to save quite some energy with that.

I changed the front window with thick metal and cased the whole oven and filled everything with glass wool from 5-12 cm.

Also are you running the DC straight into the heat bands or do you invert first? (inverters loose about 30% of the juice).

Very interesting project anyway. We were looking into wind generating 3 phase power for us but we could not get far enough from houses. I would think a combo of 3 phase for the rotational parts and DC for the heating parts could be very energy efficient. Well done!

Hi, @s2019
We are still organizing the information since it was a few weeks ago that we performed the installation, we are making a video clip that explains the experience a little better.

The type of plastic that predominates is HDPE, from the tops of the beverage bottles, containers of cleaning products such as detergents, and hair products. and candy wrappers.

In this first stage the community will learn to use the machines well, know the production times, and experiment, but within the activities we have done, it is to be able to create products to exchange with the community for the collected plastic.

later on, we can help the construction of space for children’s games, and create some toys to exchange with them, since many of them collect the plastic of the sweets.for now it is a stage of brainstorming, and little by little more applications will be planned, such as furniture and some structures such as small bridges.


Sounds like a great project. Is there a link to a more detailed description?

I’m curious what is the predominant plastic type that will be processed and what will they be making?

Thanks for posting.

more photos , soon we will have a video clip

video buenaventura- mayorquin in boat