Published On: Fri, Jun 1st, 2018

Viable waste processing requires cooperation with other islands

AVR Presentation IPKO Delegation

PHILIPSBURG – Working together with neighboring islands is the way to go for a viable solution for waste processing. That is the conclusion from a visit delegations of the Inter-Parliamentary Kingdom Consultation (IPKO) paid this week to waste processing company AVR in the Netherlands.

“St. Maarten has to take a decision about how it wants to continue with waste processing,” President of Parliament MP Sarah Wescot-Williams said at Friday’s press conference at the end of the IPKO in The Hague. “We need expertise to determine what we want to do.”

Wescot-Williams noted that the “impossibilities” surface as soon as specifications for a possible solution are on the table. “We have to decide once and for all which direction we want to go with waste-processing,” she said.

The IPKO-delegations visited the waste processing and energy company AVR in Rozenburg – located between Europoort and Botlek Rotterdam opposite Maassluis on the banks of the Nieuwe Waterweg. AVR-director Yves Luca  explained to the delegations how waste-processing has evolved from dumping – as is currently still done in St. Maarten – to incinerating and recycling.

“The processing of waste into energy and recycled raw materials as such is not profitable,” the IPKO delegations learned from AVR. “Polluters pay part of the costs through the levying of taxes.”

But there is a way to bring those costs down, the report about the visit to AVR points out. One solution is to increase the volume of waste a facility processes, for instance by accepting waste from elsewhere against payment. Furthermore recycled raw materials and energy produced in a waste-to energy facility can be sold.

Efficient logistics also exert downward pressure on costs. A new development in the Netherlands is to separate waste on location – and not after arrival at the waste processing facility. The real costs and the net revenue from waste processing are not the only factors in play. Social and environmental gains are also part of the equation.

AVR-director Luca told the IPKO-delegations that there are possibilities for waste processing in the Caribbean part of the kingdom when islands that are relatively close to each other work together.

The IPKO-delegations are asking their governments to investigate whether the tendering of waste incineration installations can be done by several countries together – considering the geographical location of these countries.

For St. Maarten, this implies working together with the French part of St Maarten, with neighboring islands Saba and Statia and possibly also with St. Barths.