A visit to MinTino

One of last week’s columns questioned the pace of the ambitious Trash2Cash project.

I was impatient, I wanted to see things happening.

The minister in charge, was gracious enough to invite me for a presentation in order to explain the time-consuming process.

My takeaway:

Unlike other ministers who suffer from long-toe syndrome, the Minister of Integrity, Nature, Transport and Elderly Care is ok with columnists whose self-declared job is to pester him.

Minister Ursell Arends gathered his team and gave me and my dear colleague, Xclusivo, an overview of some of the challenges along the Trash2Cash journey. He reiterated his firm commitment to close the dump, even cap it, which is already budgeted, and begin to tackle waste management, from the ground up.

Typical to that minister: Methodically. Systematically. Structurally. Which alas takes time, but has a better chance at longevity.

(Ask my mom, he said, when I make up my mind, and set a goal, nothing distracts me.)

The team identified 14 waste streams, some broke it down to 19, which must be expertly handled, from tires to wood, glass, aluminum, construction debris, etc. Each of those streams, requires a different kind of expertise.

The team started with the most offensive stream, tires. And at present identified a solid local company to take over the leftovers after the removal of steel, and turn the rubber into a kind of fuel that might perhaps be burned by WEB.

They are testing that process, now.

As of late, trash can no longer be exported and we must figure out what to do with ours.

After the Pitch & Switch event 10 local companies were selected for certain jobs, and they are laying that infrastructure now, working on financing, location, and regulation.

I understand that Aruba Bank might perhaps be interested in supporting anything green, so call them for a powpow. Propaganda no paga!

Conclusion: Waste management has been a non-issue here for decades and it would take a while to tame that beast.

The minister’s legal advisor added that a few factors contribute to pocket resistance, and that is the fear of change because a significant number of entities enjoy the current lawlessness whereby dumping has no price tag for some, yet if offers benefits to others.

(I tried to get to the bottom of that, who benefits from our trash, and how, but did not get far.)

The Serlimar law must also change. By law, they bill us after receiving services.

Minister Ursell Arends who hails from the timeshare industry where you pay your annual fees in advance of vacation, is working to change that.

About the Salinas: We did not go into detail but indeed there is a plan to run grey water into the Salinas, and make them a better eco-system. Quality Water, reassures an aid.

Part of the plan is to turn the salina at Bubali into a well-managed sightseeing destination, with observation towers.

A current pilot project for elementary schools will start teaching kids to separate garbage, reduce, reuse and recycle.

They have a lot of work to do these people, but the public also needs to learn to be better-behaved and less wasteful. And yes, you must pay a license fee for having a pet – to encourage responsible pet ownership, and you must pay for trash removal, these things can no longer be free.


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September 01, 2022
Rona Coster