In 2022, Saba shipped a record number of 50 containers with recyclables to the USA for further processing. Saba has a well-functioning waste management system that includes the separation of recyclables.
The 50 containers that left the island contained the following recyclables: plastics (63%), cardboard (20%), plastic bottles (10%), shredded tires (3%), metal cans (2%), and electronics 2%. All recyclables are shipped to the Caldwell INC company in Florida for further processing.
In July 2022, a metal barge was arranged to take as much metal as possible off the island. In total, 179 tons of mixed metal were shipped, including 72 car wrecks.
Last year the garbage trucks collected a total of 1,027,215.60 kilos of waste from households and commercial enterprises on Saba. In addition, the Waste Facility collected a total of 164,827.20 kilos from private vehicles that came to the facility to bring their waste. The total amount of waste collected on the island was 1,192,042.80 kilos.
Since the Waste Facility only started to record the numbers in September last year when the weighing scale at the facility’s entrance was put into use, the total amount of kilos collected is actually higher than the 1,192,042.80 kilos.
Commissioner of Public Works, Infrastructure, and Waste Management Bruce Zagers said that significant progress has been made in waste management. Sizeable investments were made by the Public Entity Saba and the Ministry of Infrastructure and Water Management (IenW).
“In the last years, we have completely revamped our processes which have resulted in more waste separation and more importantly, less burning. Before waste was being burned 5 times per week and this has been reduced to once per week, as the waste is now being further separated and exported. Our goal is to further minimize the burning cycle, and we will continue seeking opportunities in the longer term to completely stop burning altogether,” said Zagers.
Waste Management and Recycling Manager Camilo Usuga is proud of the men that did all the work. “The road sweepers, the waste collectors, the open back truck team, and the guys at the waste facility doing the separation, they all deserve a big compliment for their hard work,” he said.
In general, there is still room for further improvement in waste management on Saba for which the help and support of the community is needed. Usuga encouraged people to continue recycling and to also explain the importance of doing so to family and friends. “Let’s continue to keep Saba green: recycle, reduce, and reuse,” he said.