THE Repast-OECS Pilot Plastic Recycling Project is currently formalizing partnership arrangements with the Constituency Councils of Gros Islet and Vieux Fort South, The Laborie Development Foundation and the Caribbean Youth Environment Network (CYEN) to establish and operate designated points for the collection of plastic waste. To this end, the Project conducted training last Saturday for close to 80 community volunteers from Gros Islet and environs, Castries, Vieux Fort and Laborie. The training was facilitated by Mrs. Geraldine Lendor-Gabriel, a Business Development Consultant and former General Manager of the Saint Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority.
According to Repast-OECS Project Director Shanta King, Saturday’s activity served as an orientation, and will be followed by more hands-on training on the ground, when the Collection Points go into operation.
Repast Collection Points (RCP) are on schedule to start operations beginning with the Gros Islet Collection Point from the park adjoining the Aquatic Centre in Rodney Bay. Castries will follow on from the Serenity Park on launch day and will subsequently also operate from the Massy Mega J Car Park and Serenity. The Laborie RCP will operate in the village center and subsequently at the Laborie Development Foundation Grounds. The Vieux Fort RCP will operate from the Vieux Fort Town Square.
At this time the Repast-OECS Project is actively following the current spike in community spread of the Corona Virus to make a determination of when it will be safe to operationalize the RCPs.
In the initial phase of the project, only PET and HDPE beverage containers will be collected for recycling.
Town Clerk of the Vieux Fort South Constituency Council Ms. Kizzy Joseph says the Council, which is responsible for the management of waste in that constituency, sees the Repast-OECS Project as an opportunity to create a significant shift in attitudes with regard to how people perceive the problem of improper plastic waste disposal and their role in it.” We need to realize that the less waste we throw in the environment the better off we will be. The less that goes into the landfill, the longer the lifespan of the landfill”, Ms. Joseph said.
The community partners are responsible to mobilize volunteer support to man the RCPs. Volunteers automatically qualify for a Repast Rewards Card and earn points for their service. Following the establishment and finetuning of operations at these initial four collection points, the long-term goal is to upscale with the establishment of more collection points in other communities.
Those wishing to become Repast Collection Point volunteers can contact the Project at email@example.com. In the meantime, citizens are urged to begin to collect used PET and HDPE beverage containers, and to register online for the rewards programmed for a rewards card at www.replastoecs.com. Cards can be collected at the closest Repast collection point.
The Repast-OECS Project is creating a sustainable model for the efficient management of plastic waste which can be adopted in other Caribbean countries. It is funded by the Republic of France on behalf of the Government of Saint Lucia and is being implemented by Unite-Caribbean Limited.