Stories of Hard Work and Achievement
Ricardo Pérez


“We work with garbage; thanks to trash, we make a living”.

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Ricardo Pérez is proud of taking his plastic recycling business forward and at his 46 years of being able to give his children the opportunity to be their own bosses. The Pérez family has been working for itself for over 10 years in plastics recycling. Nearly the whole family works in the recycling business, his wife and two of their four children, and he is proud to be able to give them jobs. They get most of the material for recycling from the packaging of materials sold in stores. These products used to be thrown away, but Ricardo and his family buy them from the stores to recycle them.

His business helps to generate wealth for his community, because several people live from collecting the plastic which they then sell to Ricardo. “This is a chain; in the same way as the people in the stores often make things easier for us, we also give a hand to all those who are selling plastic on the street. People know that we buy, so whenever someone brings us something, we give them a hand and buy from them” explains Ricardo. “I am very grateful to Contigo Microfinanzas for believing in me and in my family when they gave us the ARS 28,500 microcredit. Thanks to them we can carry on improving our business”.

His next ambition for the business is to get a bigger clumping machine, which can recycle 2,000 kilos of clumped plastic a day. The clumping machine he is using at the moment can process only 800 kilos a day, so this would improve his business performance considerably. He also wants to be able to make plastic pellets, which requires a different machine. Ricardo shares his story with us. “You could say that we work with garbage, thanks to this we can make a living. It sounds tough when I say it like that, but it’s true. And what’s more, we make the place cleaner; otherwise, everything would be thrown away all over the place.”

Ricardo comments “At one point all four children were working with us but the two older ones went on to set up their own enterprise and preferred doing that. Luckily the two younger ones help me, my wife and my daughters-in-law”.

Mirta, Ricardo’s wife, says “I always say to my children that they have to be better than us, to grow, to get on, to find something else to do, but they don’t want to leave their father alone with this business.” Ricardo for his part adds that this enterprise is what he can leave his children, that he is doing it for them, so that they have something in the future.