Recycling hits San Pedro

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 44            November 8, 2001

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School children do their part to recycle

The Environmental Restoration Project (ERP) team headed by Vicki Nelder has recently completed the final phase of their project by installing recycling bins throughout town. The ERP consisted of four focal points: a trash clean-up of the lagoon and San Pedrito areas; public park landscaping; replanting of vegetation on the beaches and shoreline; and the creation of a resource management center.

    The resource management center will be used to recycle materials from the clean-up campaign and to create compost (fertilizer consisting of decayed organic matter). Recently an educational campaign was completed whereby children from the various schools in San Pedro were informed about the importance of recycling.

    The recycling process is very simple and its benefits are many. Garbage can be separated into five main categories and disposed of in one of 12 recycling bins that have been placed around town. These bins have two compartments: one for organic waste and the other for metals, plastics, glass and paper. Organic waste includes leftover foods like egg shells, fruit and vegetable peels, tea bags and coffee grounds, coffee filters and all kinds of paper, yard waste like grass cuttings, dry leaves and branches. Non-organic garbage: Metals include all aluminum cans. Plastics include water and soft drink bottles, beverage containers, plastic bags and plastic utensils. Glass includes beverage containers, glassware and broken crockery. Paper includes newspapers, writing paper, notebook paper, etc. Once residents have separated their garbage into organic and non-organic material they can drop them at any of the recycling bins.

   Individual or families can also make their own home bins by utilizing two separate containers marked organic and non-organic. Your garbage will be collected every day, except Sunday by the town garbage disposal workers. Organic garbage will be taken to the resource management center where it will be used to make compost. This will be used as fertilizer for the greenhouse plants and may eventually be available for sale. Adding to this program is an Earth Tub, a machine that mechanically creates compost in only twenty-eight days. This valuable piece of equipment was donated to the project by the Ministry of the Environment.

    Parents are encouraged to teach their children the importance of recycling. It only takes a short explanation to instill this "good habit" in children. The people of San Pedro are urged to join the ERP team to make it a successful program. Be kind, recycle, and help keep "La Isla Bonita" clean. A number of recycling bins are located in the following places: (2) Boca del Rio Area, (2) San Pedrito Area, (3) Coconut Drive, (2) behind the Old Football Field, (1) San Juan Area, (1) San Telmo Area and (1) in Escalante Subdivision. Anyone wishing further information on this subject may contact Vicki Nelder at telephone 026-3477.

    In related news, the replanting of seedlings will commence very soon. These plants have been treated with fertilizer, so the public is advised not to eat the heart of palms in these new plants, as they may be toxic. 

    The Environmental Restoration Project was funded by the Inter-American Development Bank. The consultants for this project are WSP International who chose the local firm of Rojas, Schulz & Nelder as the service providers for this area.
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