The three-year St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project, which has been operational since July 29, 2021 is gearing to enter its second phase of operation, the Bin Placement Programme, and has been seeking co-operators among hoteliers and restaurateurs on Nevis.
Project Manager, Ms Joyce Chang, on Friday September 9 held a meeting with some of the intended co-operators in the tourism industry at the St. Paul’s Anglican Church Hall in Charlestown where she updated them on the progress of the project, which was officially launched on Friday March 4 this year.
The meeting was also attended by officials from the Nevis Tourism Authority, whose Chief Executive Officer, Mr Devon Liburd, was represented by his Executive Assistant, Ms Kimberley Grant, who called the meeting to order and welcomed the participants.
“We have invested in machines to help St. Kitts and Nevis to set up a recycling facility, one for each island,” said Project Manager Ms Chang of the US$1m project which is funded by the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF). “We have invested in machines which include two compression balers, one breaker, one forklift, and one truck.”
In Nevis the project works with the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and according to Ms Chang, they have already finished the structure noting that her team had visited the facility the previous day (Thursday September 8) to do machine training. Also in attendance at the meeting was NSWMA’s Manager, Mr Andrew Hendrickson.
The Project Manager explained that after the recyclables are baled, they would end up being exported overseas for processing, to make sure that the waste will be treated well. Accompanying her was Project Technician Mr Geofhani Gumbs, and they were assisted by Project’s Promotional Officer Ms Zaida McCall, and Project Intern Mr Haower Chiang.
Encouraging more people to bring out their recyclables, Ms Chang pointed out that there are four collection locations in Nevis, which are alternated on every second and fourth Fridays of the month. Two of the four locations are alternated every second month.
This year’s remaining collection schedule for Nevis is: Friday September 23 at Xpetrol in the St. James Parish; Friday October 14 at Big Six in Gingerland; Friday October 28 at the Old Artisan Village in Charlestown; Friday November 11 at the Delta Petroleum next to Ole House Café; Friday November 25 at Xpetrol; Friday December 9 at Big Six; and Friday December 23 at the Old Artisan Village.
“We would like to encourage more people to join with us, and firstly we are thinking we can cooperate with some groups like the hoteliers and restaurateurs,” stated Ms Chang, “In our next phase we will place bins at some locations so as to allow us to collect more bottles and cans. If it works smoothly, it can be done by the end of this year.”
According to the Project Technician, Mr Geofhani Gumbs, the Bin Placement Programme will see bins placed at schools, hotels, restaurants, community centres, churches, and local retail business owners in an effort to establish recycling channels.
The participants were informed by Mr Gumbs that the recyclables currently include plastic bottles, metal cans and aluminium drinking cans. When brought to the collection bins, the items must be clean and in good condition, and must be separated. He requested them to ensure that general waste is not included among the recyclables, and recommended that they assign individuals who will be willing to monitor the bins frequently.
“This is a wonderful collaboration and it is giving the Solid Waste Management Authority in Nevis the opportunity to jump-start the plastic recycling project, which has been long overdue,” observed Manager Mr Andrew Hendrickson. “We count it a privilege to be on board and collaborating because the little spark that is lit, we are hoping to fan the flame and let it go into something big and more significant.”
Ms Kimberly Grant, the Executive Assistant to the Chief Executive Officer of the Nevis Tourism Authority, noted that the initiative can be a very important one as there is a need for sustainability in the country. She noted that the project is very promising as recyclable materials can now be recycled and reused in an efficient sustainable manner.
Director of Purchasing at the Four Seasons Resort, Mr Clint Smith, noted that the recycling project is a great imitative which he hoped would take the country to another level. He recommended that the project should not stop at plastics and metal cans, but should go into glass and paper, and have the entire organisation and community getting involved.
“Cleanliness is not next to godliness, but it is godliness,” said host Father Cleverton Beckford of the St. Paul’s Anglican Church. “We as people of God we are stewards right here to take care and to manage God’s affairs as the environment is given to us by God to manage, and to take care. We must protect the environment, not only for our sake but those who come after us will find us faithful.”
Hotelier Mr Anthony Bowen, General Manager of Hamilton Beach Villas and Spa, Nelson’s Spring in Nevis, pointed out that he has worked in every island from Jamaica to Trinidad with the exception of the United States Virgin Islands, and he had found Nevis to be a charming and clean island where one does not see a lot of garbage. But while there is a big sense of pride, people need “to cut down the source of all the garbage first, and try to minimise that before we worry how we will recycle it.”