The large quantities of sargassum washing up on Cancun and Riviera Maya beaches are officially being turned into fertilizer. For the past month, Cancun company Dianco has been utilizing the unwanted seaweed to turn it into organic fertilizer.
Cancun-based Dianco-Mexico began converting sargassum into solid and liquid organic fertilizers, which will be used in agriculture. Héctor Romero, the General Director of Dianco Mexico says it is a 100 percent Mexican company that consists of environmentalists, biologists, agronomists, and businessmen.
Dianco accepts all sargassum that is collected in Cancun, Puerto Morelos, and Playa del Carmen. Romero says instead of dumping the seaweed in a designated landfill or in the jungle, they convert it into organic fertilizer.
“All the sargassum is collected instead of being taken to the jungle and to areas where it affects the subsoil and therefore the aquifers since it does indeed contain heavy metals.
“We receive the sargassum from the corresponding municipalities and recover around 95 percent of the sand, which is eventually returned to the beaches to help with the problem of erosion.
With the sargassum, “we desalinate, we reduce the heavy materials and we extract the nutrients for liquid fertilizer and we condition it with natural elements to generate soil improver of a fertilizer type,” he explained.
Romero says the company can process up to 600 tons of sargassum per day since the machinery can process one ton of sargassum every five minutes, all of which is converted into organic fertilizers.
The company “covers all agricultural sectors. There is not a producer who would not want to use organic fertilizers since they know using chemicals deteriorates the field in the long run. We can offer an organic fertilizer at an industrial level. It is an initial model that is scalable and designed to be replicated.”
He says Dianco solves one of the state’s problems, which is what to do with the excessive sargassum that is removed from the beaches and dumped. “Benito Juárez, Solidaridad and Puerto Morelos, all hotels and civil society can bring their sargassum here.
“Once the sargassum is received, it goes through a production line where we weigh it, we make a monthly report to both the Navy and to affiliated hotels and then we provide information on how much sargassum they brought and how much sand we are collecting.
“In turn, those who drop off sargassum are given a certificate of environmental social responsibility that is endorsed by the Ministry of the Environment,” he said. Dianco Mexico currently employs around 100 people.