Volunteers collecting trash in the Madame Estate area during the Re-Greening SXM project’s first monthly community clean-up, which took place in the Madame Estate and Arch Road areas last weekend. Story on page .
MADAME ESTATE--The Re-Greening SXM project, an initiative of the Red Cross and St. Maarten Nature Foundation, collaborated with SXM A.C.T.I.O.N. (Aspiring Change to Impact Our Nation) and the St. Maarten Youth Brigade to organise its first monthly community clean-up, which took place in the Madame Estate and Arch Road areas last weekend. More than 25 volunteers participated in the event and collected approximately 425 pounds of garbage.
The collected garbage included beer bottles, single-use plastics, aluminium cans, cigarette packages, bottle covers, galvanised zinc sheets, wood, and even full bags of household trash.
“Each volunteer was urged to wear their mask as they see fit and practise social distancing to comply with current standards. In addition, sanitary precautions were taken; gloves and trash bags were provided to each volunteer. Together in small groups these volunteers picked up the garbage that is often left behind by official roadside cleaners due to the restricted areas they attend to. …
“Volunteers learned that our communities are in dire need of trash removal (as trash can build quickly with improper disposal) and how our environment can be seriously impacted by this garbage,” said the organisations in a press release on Thursday.
“It was shocking to see how much garbage can be found on the roadsides of such small communities. Yet it was refreshing to know that a good amount of it was removed from the environment.
Some of the collected trash in the back of a pickup truck.
“This clean-up would not have been possible without all our volunteers, SXM A.C.T.I.O.N. and the St. Maarten Youth Brigade, who came out and made sure everyone was safe by keeping safe distances between volunteers and fast traffic. … We urge the public to dispose of trash properly and aid in taking care of our environment,” said Re-Greening SXM project leader Ernika van Putten.
“I commend the volunteers that came out and joined the clean-up campaign. Together we impact our nation. Always remember to respect yourself, respect others and respect your community. Your trash is on the Earth’s face,” said SXM A.C.T.I.O.N. President Ravina Claudius.
“On behalf of the St. Maarten Youth Brigade, we would like to thank the Re-Greening SXM team on their swift cooperation and coordination in executing this event. In this way, the St. Maarten Youth Brigade was able to ensure that proper measures were considered.
“This was done by applying knowledge from our training in maintaining a safe distance between traffic and the participants who volunteered for the clean-up. We look forward to being of service in future clean-ups,” said St. Maarten Youth Brigade Coordinator Michel Peterson.
The organisations encourage the public to stay tuned for their upcoming clean-up events. “Citizens of each community are also urged to join in the continuous clean-ups, as we will be coming to your area soon,” said the organisations.
The next community clean-up will be held in the areas around A.Th. Illidge Road and Zagersgut Road at 7:30am Saturday, August 22. The meeting point will be office supplies store Van Dorp’s parking lot near Laser 101 radio station.
To sign up as a volunteer for this project, one can visit
www.naturefoundationsxm.org/preservation/regreening-st-maarten or send an e-mail to