Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 30, 2021 (SKNIS):  The Government of St. Kitts and Nevis moved closer to establishing a robust waste management and recycling system following the July 29 official signing of the Solid Waste and Recycling Project during a brief but significant ceremony held at the Taiwan Technical Mission at Needsmust.

The project, which will run for three years, is aimed at reducing waste, enhancing sustainability, and promoting a healthy environment. It will be done in collaboration with the Republic of China (Taiwan) and Solid Waste Management Corporation, (SWMC).

Minister with responsibility for the Environment, the Honourable Eric Evelyn, said that the project is a productive effort to increase environmental sustainability.

“It is a step towards building a coordinated framework to address waste disposal practices. This project is timely for two reasons. Firstly, it aligns with my ministry’s commitment to encouraging our citizens to become better environmental stewards.  We are acutely aware of the need to pay serious attention to the way in which we dispose of waste and the ever niggling, but critical issues associated with waste separation and excessive waste contribution to environmental degradation,” said Minister Evelyn. “Secondly, the Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives is currently leading the charge to implement a ban on single-use plastics.  The process is in the throes of public awareness and stakeholder consultations.  This exercise shares the common goal of reducing excessive waste as does this project.”

Minister Evelyn said that the overall outcome of the project “seeks to establish a recycling system to improve efficiency and increase the amount of waste recycled by twice the amount. Setting this systemic framework will be a foundational pillar to create efficient and collaborative pathways among stakeholders and ultimately result in more environmentally responsible actions from all citizens.”

His Excellency Michael C. H. Lin (LIN, Chau-Horng), Resident Ambassador of the Republic of China (Taiwan) to the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis, said that the project was “conceptualized as a response to St. Kitts and Nevis’ current issues of low recycling rate and plastic waste’s impact upon the environment which were raised during the COP 25 Meeting of the UNFCCC” – [United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change].

“The project is aimed at raising the ability of environment management, reducing waste generation, improving the reusing rate of resources, and promoting the concept of the circular economy. It will contribute to the development of an environment-friendly society, and meanwhile further expand the scope of cooperation between Taiwan and St. Kitts & Nevis,” said Ambassador Lin. By the completion of the project in three years, it is expected that a well-functioning recycling system will be established. The short-term goal is to increase the recycling rate in St. Kitts and Nevis, and in the medium- and long run, it is hoped that waste reduction and recycling will become a common practice, while the country is strengthened in its ability to conduct data analysis and to formulate policies of waste disposal, reduction and recycling capabilities,” the ambassador added.

There will be 15 recycling points throughout the Federation. In St. Kitts, 10 fixed recycling points will be set up mainly in supermarkets and schools, targeting residents in the first year, while five fixed recycling points will be set up at the same locations in Nevis. Demonstration recycling routes will be established with the garbage trucks of SWMC and the Nevis Solid Waste Management Authority.

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