Seychelles has potential to increase household recycling, report finds
The group found out that at least $4.5 million is going into waste management per year. (Seychelles News Agency)
Some waste materials that end up in the landfill in Seychelles can be recycled, a report compiled by university students in collaboration with the local environment ministry has revealed.
The report -- “Solid Waste Management in Seychelles” -- compiled by students from ETH Zurich University and the University of Seychelles in collaboration with the local environment ministry — was presented to local partners on Wednesday.
The report found a large potential to recycle waste materials such as cardboard boxes, egg trays, paper bags and crushed glass, which can be reused in the national market.
The students in the study were divided into seven groups and each had a specific task. The tasks included identifying the collection and sorting options, the potential for waste recycling, the feasibility of an incineration plant, the possibility of implementing plans for organic waste and the state of hazardous waste disposal in the country.
One of the tasks was focused on the financial aspect of the local waste system and how to effectively implement waste management plans. The group found out that at least $4.5 million is going into waste management per year.
The study found that the majority of the 151 households surveyed are already engaged in some form of waste sorting while businesses such as restaurants and retailers are not willing to become collection points in the sorting system.
“This is a good sign showing that there is a good educational programme and people are becoming more aware of how to manage their waste. The work doesn’t stop here as there is still a lot to do,” said chief executive of the Land Waste Management Agency, Flavien Joubert.
Waste sorting is not new to Seychelles as the report shows that there is a working system in place for the processing and exporting of PET bottles and cans. These waste are being sold at redeem centres by informal collectors.
Along the same line, Joubert said that “waste should not only be regarded as waste but as a form of resources that can be tapped into to gain money.”
During their fieldwork study, the students also studied the potential of an incinerator plant in Seychelles, a group of 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
“The incinerator will burn waste and by so doing will reduce accumulation on the landfill to 80 percent as well as become a source of renewable energy,” said Joubert. The investment would cost around $50 million.
According to the Seychelles Sustainable Development Strategy (2012-2020), the 95,000 inhabitants of the island nation generates about 48,000 tonnes of waste per year.
Mariette Dine, an environmental science student at the University of Seychelles, who was part of the study, said that the experience was very enriching and the data gathered will serve as “a source of reliable information to the government.”
Pius Krutli, a representative from ETH Zurich University, said that “the case study will be compiled into a report which will be validated by an advisory committee consisting of local experts.”
The study follows similar research conducted in July 2016.