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Mexican company turns plastic waste into low-cost housing

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 02:25

Oct. 11 - A pioneering company in the western Mexican state of Jalisco is building houses made of recycled waste plastic collected by trucks on their weekly rounds. The company, called Kuadro Ecological Solutions, says it is making the most of waste that would otherwise end up in landfills, while providing inexpensive housing at the same time. Elly Park reports.

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This house is being constructed out of plastic.. that would have otherwise ended up in a landfill. But now, a Mexican company says they have figured out a way to convert plastic trash into housing for the poor. Eco-solutions firm Kuadro came up with the idea. Ramon Espinoza, its Commercial Director says that about 3000 tonnes of plastic waste is produced every month in the state where the company is headquartered. (SOUNDBITE) ) RAMON ESPINOSA - KUADRO COMPANY COMMERCIAL DIRECTOR, SAYING: "When we make the most out of this waste instead of leaving it in a rubbish dump where it takes up space and also contaminates the environment, this leads us to be able to use it and do what many people aren't doing, which is to make the most out of this waste." At the company's processing plant the rescued trash is first put into a machine that crushes it into smaller pieces. Then these smaller pieces of plastic are baked in an oven and flattened into panels that are used to make up the walls of the house. The move by Kuadro to go into the housing business comes after success in converting plastic waste into smaller creations like benches, fences and even plastic dog kennels. Kuadro's general director Ricardo Rivera says his company is in talks with the Mexican government to start building low cost communities for the countries poor. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) RICARDO RIVERA - KUADRO COMPANY GENERAL DIRECTOR, SAYING: "What I would like to focus on is that all individuals should take advantage of this technology. It is not longer off limits, although Kuadro is a registered company; we want it to develop within the country." Along with being eco-friendly, Kuadro says anyone with a simple set of tools can assemble the house. And with a price tag under 5000 US dollars many of Mexico's poorest people may soon be proud owners of a plastic house.

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Mexican company turns plastic waste into low-cost housing

Thursday, October 11, 2012 - 02:25