Household Waste is Gold

Our MinInfra just declared war on free enterprise by submitting a proposal, September 4th, 2019, to amend the law, asking Parliament to give SERLIMAR full MONOPOLY on waste management in Aruba.

Serlimar will have sole ownership on anything related to waste management so basically anyone that has anything to do with recycling here, will go out of business, about 200 people.

Monopolies in Aruba such as Water, Electricity, Tele-Communications regularly spell disaster for island consumers with high rates and sub-par service.

The Aruba Hotel & Tourism Association, the Aruba Trade and Industry Association, and the Aruba Chamber of Commerce dispatched a letter of protest to MinInfra, advising him that the move is ridiculous.

Basically what the MinInfra is asking is the following: Every household will be billed Awg 17.5 a month, a compulsory levy – you don’t pay, we send the bailiff after you – whether you use Serlimar or not.

It will leave no room for EcoTech, the private sector enterprise, and will take all small recyclers of tires, batteries, plastic, iron, spent oil, out of business. These small third-party companies, will lose their clients, already paying a monthly fees to Serlimar.

Some private-sector reactions? This is a travesty, against commerce, against tourism, against our economy, against the government’s commitment to a circular economy, and against sustainability principles.

As a consumer, my household waste has been picked up by EcoTech for the past decades. Their totters were larger, their garbage trucks cleaner, and never leaked any garbage juice, so I switched from the municipal trash collection to private trash collection, especially due to the fact that EcoTech initiated recycling, and made good progress on environmental issues, while Serlimar just piled everything in a burning, shameful dump.

The war on trash escalated recently with the government’s plan to take trash over.


You should divest of everything.

Governments are BAD managers.

Let the private-sector do it.

But there is money in it: Awg 17.5 x the number of households, a month, over 8 million a year, and MinInfra is eyeing that piggy-box.   

What happened to free enterprise? An economic system in which private business operates in competition and largely free of state control.

Look at what state-control did to Venezuela.

I had a private conversation recently with the MinInfra. He is very charming, and open, and friendly, and charismatic. And he did mention, that he believed, that all WASTE is his. In his view our trash and its exploitation-rights belong to GOA.  I did not understand it at the time, but now I know what he means. 8 million florins a year, upfront.    

The opposition party will vote against it in parliament. I hope a few coalition members, with good sense, join and bury the amendment.

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September 07, 2019
Rona Coster