Thursday , December 7 2023

Building of recycling plant will start

Experts will be flown into Saba next week to start construction of the new recycling plant located at the landfill “dump” at the end of Fort Bay. This writes The Daily Herald. The foundation for the plant is already in place and two prefab buildings will be constructed this week. All building materials for the new recycling plant are in Saba and this ambitious project is scheduled to be finished by mid-March.

Commissioner Bruce Zagers first started with the recycling programme in 2007, after being elected for his first term. In the first years after taking office, Zagers took care of several problems at the landfill. Waste metals and tires, as well as other large waste material, are now being separated and an air burner was installed a couple of years ago to reduce the volume of household waste. These improvements were all locally-funded and part of the first waste management plan, presented by Zagers in 2010.

In 2013, he continued seeking funding and filed a request for a recycling plant with the Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment in The Hague. Funding was approved last year and Dutch recycling expert Remco Noordermeer, who is currently living on Bonaire, was appointed as project manager. Noordermeer is one of the experts coming to Saba next week to realise the project. “Thanks to these experts, ‘the dump’ will be transformed into an impressive recycling facility,” Zagers said in an interview.

A burner-incinerator will be installed as well as a bailer for tires, aluminium, plastics, paper and metals. A glass crusher will also be installed in the coming month. The intention is for the plant to be able to recycle at least 60 per cent of all the waste in Saba, with the remaining 40 per cent to be burned in an incinerator.
The people living in St. John’s, which is located right above the landfill, are to benefit from this because less waste materials would be released in the air. The recycled materials are to be shipped to suppliers in St. Maarten.

“If we want to reach the goal of 60 per cent recyclable materials, we need the support of the community,” said Zagers. In the near future, the standard green trash bins will be collected, washed and stored and new dark grey and orange bins distributed. These new bins are also being presented on St. Eustatius and Bonaire, in the same colours. Zagers emphasised that in the first weeks of February, a door-to-door information campaign will start, informing the people in Saba about these “positive changes” and about what needs to be done in the households to make this project a success.

Zagers is planning to organise tours for the young and old to the finished recycling plant to get people more involved and for them to actually see the results. “This is a project that has taken years to realise. I worked hard for it and it’s a big step forward for Saba,” Zagers concluded.

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