Next step: Week 3-10, 2017 – Global process steps
Update: March 8, 2017 – Project team beefed up with three extra people
Update: December 15, 2016 – Visualize to be situation
Update: November 30, 2016 – Meeting with international garbage specialist company
Update: November 25, 2016 – News post placed on the website
Update: November 23, 2016 – Initial meeting to frame the SXM dump issue
Not new but to be worked at now!
In the streamline of its activities of the Unleashed Potential Group alongside the St. Maarten’s Branding program and Cruise Conversion, quickly the real issues that are blocking Sint Maarten from becoming healthy surfaced in the meetings the group had in the course of last week yesterday and even today.
The relation with the ever standing issue of the mid-town garbage scene, also referred to as the Sanitary Landfill on Pond Island (see the many articles in The Daily Herald newspaper over the last many years), is on fire time after time again, emitting thick toxic smoke in large plumes.
This is not a very nice and elegant welcome to the many tourists, let alone the dense populated areas surrounding it. Not very surprising that this blocks many initiatives to stimulate tourism and to get the island back on its feet again.
From a distance, one can even be jealous at the magnificent island of St. Maarten. Does it have an active volcano on the island?
This is a different way of looking at things. When we redefine how we look at the at the dump situation on Sint Maarten we can see it as a cause that we have in common. We have to start to look for solutions to permanently address the situation of waste management. This is not a troublesome task, it is a great and noteworthy goal to accomplish and that makes it something that is worth doing!
UPG initiative to research options and set solution
UPG has taken up the initiative to research and explore the possibilities of curtailing this enormous pollution problem which stands in the way of anything trying to develop the social economy of the island.
As UPG, the team of pre- and post graduates from the island, studying in The Netherlands and grouped together in the betterment of St. Maarten, we have a extended network of professionals around us.
Active meetings already taking place
After having introductory meetings on the subject last week, in the course of this week meetings are already scheduled between UPG and a large specialist company, proficient in garbage processing, waste management and pollution cleaning. Instead of talking about it or sharing the numerous feelings people have already expressed, UPG wants to make an effort to start doing something on this troublesome topic.
Opportunity instead of threaT
We can also use this as an opportunity to show the world and the tourist that provide a large part of the income of the island, that we want a better and green Sint Maarten. Perhaps we should start to see the dump as a volcano and think up options to build a volcano like structure around it. Either way, there is a way to turn our efforts into a tourist attraction. Excursions from the city, the cruise pier and other places can bring serious money on the table. We have to start to look for proper solutions to permanently and professionally address the situation of waste management.
Revamp the heritage
The clean, Salt Pond should be reversed into its heritage form. The beautiful historical salt beds, a clean lake with small sailboats, St. Maarten restaurants with original food and produce. This will create a healthy environment and it will also increase the value of our tourism products.