• A VIFAC library invites people to 'leer,' or read. Photo: Courtesy

Mérida, Yucatán — VIFAC, an association that supports women with unplanned pregnancies, found a way to turn recycling into funds for their cause.

After three years of collecting soap wrappers and oral care packaging, the local La Casa VIFAC (Association of Life and Family) collected enough money — around 30,000 pesos — to build a library for the women they serve.

This type of waste is not normally considered as recyclable, but they worked with TerraCycle, a New Jersey-based company that pays for and recycles materials that are not conventionally considered easily recycled.

VIFAC offers free comprehensive care to pregnant women who need accommodation, food, medical and psychological care, job training and education for their children. The nonprofit has centers and homes across the country.

TerraCycle’s national recycling system in Mexico tackles so-called “non-recyclable” or “difficult to recycle” materials, such as snack wrappers. The company calls itself “one of the world’s leaders in eco-capitalism and the reuse of non-recyclable, pre and post-consumer waste.”

For VIFAC, the original plan was to raise funds to build a library in a nearby school, but that fell through. They decided then to work with TerraCycle instead.

VIFAC decided that the library should stay in their own facilities to encourage good reading habits among their members. Its leaders hailed the project as “a dream come true thanks to what we call trash.”

The organization will continue to collect waste to finance a full scholarship (12,000 pesos) for a seminarian of the Missionaries of Guadalupe.

TerraCycle operates in 26 countries around the world. In Mexico, it has spent eight years under the mission of “Eliminating the Idea of ​​Trash.”

To participate, visit www.terracycle.com.mx or call 01-800-681-1589.