Energy Answers, the company looking to set up a waste-to-energy plant in Arecibo, recently partnered with the town’s National University College campus and Better World Books to establish a pilot project focused on reusing books and reducing the high volume of waste cluttering island landfills.
Energy Answers is promoting the initiative and will provide technical and logistical support for the novel program. National University College will serve as headquarters and will coordinate the project. The third member of the agreement, Better World Books, will be in charge of receiving the books recovered and provide promotional materials to package and receive the donated books.
“Energy Answers is committed to supporting recycling efforts in Puerto Rico and contributing to solutions set forth by the government and institutions to promote this important component in integrated waste management,” said Mary Ann Mahoney, vice president of Energy Answers International.
The pilot project will be the starting point and model for a more comprehensive program of reusing and recycling of books on the island that could eventually expand to other campuses in Puerto Rico, she said.
National University College, which currently has about 1,500 enrolled students, will provide permanent space to receive, sort and dispose recovered books.
“We’re proud to have the opportunity to participate in this recycling and reuse pilot project with Energy Answers and Better World Books. Especially since this project provides solutions to the serious problems of waste management we’re facing in Arecibo and in Puerto Rico in general,” said National University College Dean Franciso Núñez.
Approximately 40 percent of Puerto Rico’s solid waste is in the form of paper products, according to the Solid Waste Authority.