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Saturday, February 16 , 2019, 8:04 pm | Mostly Cloudy 52º


MarBorg a Driving Force Behind Trash Efforts in Puerto Vallarta

A donated compacting truck is on its way to Santa Barbara's sister city in Mexico

MarBorg Industries’ donation on Friday of a front-loading trash truck is the latest move in the movement toward helping Santa Barbara’s sister city of Puerto Vallarta become more environmentally friendly.

With about 220 members in town, it’s the most active Sister City Committee, president Barbara Ellis said.

Previous president Jan Olivas pushed for the idea of helping Puerto Vallarta with its recycling efforts, which culminated with the mayor’s visit to the MarBorg recycling facility during last year’s Fiesta visit, she said.

Student exchanges had emphasized recycling both ways, with visiting Mexican students receiving tours of the recycling plant and Santa Barbara students sharing their knowledge in Mexico.

When the mayor visited, he received an intense tour of the facility and had a fortunate run-in with MarBorg’s president, Mario Borgatello, on the way out.

“(Borgatello) saw he was sincere and said he would give him a truck — just like that,” Ellis said.

Mario Borgatello of MarBorg Industries, Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Barbara Ellis, president of the Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee, commemorate MarBorg's truck donation with a photo
Mario Borgatello of MarBorg Industries celebrates the occasion with Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider and Barbara Ellis, president of the Santa Barbara/Puerto Vallarta Sister City Committee. (City of Santa Barbara courtesy photo)

The diesel trash-compacting truck is being towed to San Diego, where it will then be driven by a MarBorg employee who will train the city’s employees on truck operations, waste management and recycling operations.

In 2008, MarBorg donated a truck to the Mexican city of Union De San Antonia.

Puerto Vallarta doesn’t have a recycling facility yet but is slowly moving toward separating trash and recycling items, neighborhood by neighborhood, Ellis said.

The sister city relationship expands far beyond recycling, as Santa Barbara members participate in and facilitate adult and student exchanges. They also support a police academy, school and hospital in the town, and two artists from Puerto Vallarta are coming to Santa Barbara for the I Madonnari Italian Street Painting Festival that begins May 29, Ellis said.

The Mexican city has held the festival for the past three years, and last year’s rainstorm gave Santa Barbara artists more time to interact, she said.

Santa Barbara’s other sister cities are Dingle, Ireland; Kotor, Montenegro; San Juan Metro Manila, Philippines; Toba City, Japan; and Weihai, Peoples’ Republic of China.

Noozhawk staff writer Giana Magnoli can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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