The grand opening of the new recycling facility in Fort Bay harbour on Friday afternoon drew a great number of attendants. The new plant is developed through cooperation between the Dutch Ministry of Infrastructure and Environment and the Saba Government. This writes The Daily Herald. The total cost of this project lies around US $1.8 million.
After the initial opening words by Vito Charles of Saba Government Information Service and the unveiling of the new logo designed by local artist Malachy Magee, Pastor Mervin Alexander blessed the new facility. After a few words were spoken by project leader Remco Noordermeer, Commissioner Bruce Zagers emphasised that this recycling programme is an historical moment for Saba. He showed his confidence in the Saba community embracing this project and that the current goal of 60 per cent waste recycling would greatly be exceeded.
After Zagers’ speech, the giant sliding doors of the facility were opened by both Zagers and Noordermeer, and visitors were given a tour of the facility. Demonstrations of the various waste-disposal machines were given by staff, and food and drinks were abundantly provided.
Noordermeer expressed his happiness with and confidence in this project. “A few weeks ago, we did the initial successful tests with the medical-grade incinerator. I’m very proud everything worked out so well, and I’m especially pleased with the cooperation of everyone involved.”
Dutchman Noordermeer currently lives on Bonaire and has 20 years of experience in waste disposal. “Everything is different from Holland. For instance, the medium-sized garbage trucks we bought are of the Isuzu brand. This brand we would not acquire in Holland, but in this region, with abundant parts available, this poses no problem,” Noordermeer explained. Currently, there is one new garbage truck on Saba, another truck will arrive soon. Also expected within a couple of weeks is the arrival of a commercial-grade wood chipper, capable of handling pallets and construction waste.
Ever since Zagers became Commissioner in 2007, waste management was one of his top priorities. With the installation of an Airburner in 2012, Saba made great strides forward with waste management, although this was not viewed as such by everyone. The Airburner is still in place next to the recycling facility and can function as a backup waste-disposal system in case of emergencies. The newly-installed incinerator will drastically improve the lives of people living in St. John’s and The Bottom, according to Zagers. Besides the new medical- grade incinerator, a bailer has been installed, which can transform approximately 100 tires into a cube which neatly fits onto a pallet. In the coming weeks, a great heap of tires behind the facility will be bailed and all new tires entering the landfill will be processed and stored immediately, thereby solving the current mosquito problem, Zagers explained in his speech.
Zagers thanked Saba Roads, Noordermeer, Planning Bureau staff, Petcon, Public Works, the Agricultural Department, the people involved in the informational campaign and Saba Electric Company. According to Zagers, all these parties and individuals have worked tirelessly to make this project a success.
It is very nice of every body in Holland to (un)voluntary donate $0.10 for the installation costs of the waste management plant on Saba. It would have been nice if Commissioners Zagers would have thanked as well those who actually paid for this. These are not the civil servants of the ministry.
However, I am more worried about the running costs of the facility. Waste used to get burned, but now it needs to be processed and then transported to….. somewhere? I presume that we as Saba residents will have to pay to get rid of our own waste. The costs to run this setup will certainly be significantly higher than what it cost in the past.
Of course the processed waste can be sold for a price, but the price must depend on the quality of the recycling process.
On the demonstration we were shown that the staff mixed paper and plastic in the compressor when they were supposed to only pack paper. This with a lot of persons watching. One can only guess how well they will perform if no one is watching.
How much will this cost us, Commissioner?