CHARLESTOWN, NEVIS— In its sustained effort to encourage citizens and residents to become better environmental stewards, the St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project has reached out to members of the teaching fraternity in Nevis, seeking their support as project enters its second phase of establishing recycling models and mechanisms.
At a monthly meeting for education officials and school heads in Nevis, held at the Pond Hill Community Centre in St. Georges, Gingerland, on Tuesday September 27, Project Technician Mr Geofhani Gumbs updated the participants on the progress that has been made as the project establishes recycling models and mechanisms while at the same time increasing efficiency of garbage sorting and recycling
The Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project team of Mr Gumbs, Project’s Promotional Officer Ms Zaida McCall, and intern at the Taiwan Technical Mission in St. Kitts and Nevis, Mr Haower Chiang, were welcomed and introduced to the school heads by Principal Education Officer in the Nevis Island Administration, Ms Zahnela Claxton
They were later joined at the monthly Principals’ Meeting by representatives of their major stakeholder on Nevis, the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Solid Waste Officer Mr Gladstone Edwards, and Research and Procurement Assistant Ms Glenlicia Taylor
“The collection of recyclables started in June of this year,” advised Mr Gumbs. “In Nevis it is every second and fourth Friday of the month, and the locations are Delta Petroleum on Pump Road next to Ole House Café in Stoney Grove, X-Petrol in Camps, Big Six in Gingerland, and the old Artisan Village in Charlestown – we alternate between these locations.
The three-year (July 29, 2021 to July 28, 2024) US$1 million Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project, which was officially launched in March this year, is funded by Taiwan’s International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), and is being executed jointly by the Federal Ministry of Environment and the Taiwan Technical Mission in St. Kitts and Nevis
“In regards to the recycling facility, the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund has invested in two compression baler machines, one breaker for glass bottles, one forklift and one truck,” said Mr Gumbs. “Related to the facility structure, Nevis structure has already been completed at the landfill, so we are waiting on the completion of the St. Kitts facility.
According to Mr Gumbs, the facility on St. Kitts is progressing well, but the one in Nevis is just about ready to start the compressing process. He noted that members of staff at the Nevis facility, which is located at the landfill in Long Point, have received the initial training and once the second part of the training is conducted in early October, the Nevis facility will be ready to start compression of plastic bottles
The second phase of the project is the Bin Placement Programme, and according to Project Technician, Mr Geofhani Gumbs, the main aim is to establish proper recycling channels which will give them a wider scope as it relates to acquiring more recyclables which will work towards reducing the amount of garbage that would normally go into the landfills
“Possible targets we have so far are schools, hotels, restaurants, community centres, churches, and also local retailers,” pointed out Mr Gumbs. “We actually plan to start this programme hopefully in October. We have already had many meetings with schools and hotels, in regard to this initiative and educating them on recycling concepts, and what is required of them in this bin placement programme.
Making a direct appeal to the school principals and education officials at the meeting, Mr Gumbs said: “We would like to of course cooperate with schools here in Nevis in issuing recycling bins. We would have to speak to you and ensure that you are aware of the responsibilities for each school.
Principal Education Officer, Ms Zahnela Claxton, advised that the monthly Principals’ Meetings on Nevis are held on the last Tuesday of each month, where all of school leaders convene to discuss issues, initiative, and anything else that they would like implemented at the schools, with Education Officers from the Department of Education.
“Today we had a slot for the Solid Waste Management Recycling Project, and the group led by Mr Geofhani Gumbs was able to present on the project,” said Ms Claxton. “The hope is that schools would take to it and of course as I said to the leaders, we have to make sure that we fulfil our role and play our part in ensuring that we meet our sustainable development goals.
The education official hoped that schools would see the value in the initiative and take it forward. She further hoped that education officials at the top level will work towards getting more information as the recycling project shapes out at the schools and that they will be having further discussions with the Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project team to see how they can mobilise the persons who would be implementing the recycling project.