Recyclables and waste management

Dear editor,

  Reading Thursday’s paper about the achievement of Saba to export more than one million pounds of recyclables is wonderful news for Saba and I must compliment them on another major achievement.

  Looking at St. Maarten and the problems we have with waste management and lack of interested parties to promote serious recycling makes me wonder what we can learn from Saba.

  In my opinion, how we deal with waste in general is something that we should learn from childhood and carry on from there. Unless parents set the example and teach their children not to litter and to dispose of rubbish in a responsible manner we are not just setting the wrong example, we are in trouble. How often do you not see people disposing of a bottle from their car window onto the kerbside because they cannot be bothered to take it home.

  It is a mindset and until such time that this attitude changes things will not get better. There is an enormous need of rubbish bins in so many areas especially around Philipsburg and these could be sponsored by major businesses. This would make it cost-effective and a simple schedule to empty them twice or three times a week would ensure they are not overflowing with rubbish.

  To come back to recycling , it is a concept that works but I have the feeling that too many people on the island think that the few recycling bins (mainly at residential estates) are only a gimmick and that the items end up on the dump in any case.

  This service needs to be promoted more aggressively to make more people aware and how much effort does it take to separate your rubbish ?

  If the recycling companies would produce monthly figures in the newspaper of weight collected, processed, and shipped it would perhaps encourage more people to use the service.

  Make bins available for recycling in key locations like they do on the French side and let them collect the contents at night as to not disturb the traffic during the day. It works in so many places in the world, why not here?

  There is nothing more off-putting than being confronted by litter all over the island and changing our attitude is all it takes to sort it out

Rene Lammerse

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