A petition started circulating last week, asking locals to add their signature to a plea to close Seroe Teishi and to stop the burning at the Dump of Parkietenbos.
You don’t have to sign it.
Some of the neighbors contacted me to help explain their point of view, one that is completely different from the version presented by Fundacion Parkietenbos, at a recent press conference.
In better times, Ecotech used to bury environbales in Seroe Teishi, a stone-throw away from the Dump of Parkietenbos.
The environbales contained the much-reduced remnants of the sorted household and commercial waste collected by Ecotech, from businesses and private addresses.
Ecotech buried the bales according to regulations, covering them with sifted sand, running liners and ventilation pipes so the bales could burp and belch their gasses freely, without terribly molesting the neighbors.
Sometimes mid-2018, Ecotech was booted from the job, and Caribbean Trucking, a more politically-connected company started handling the disposal of the bales, conveniently cutting a few corners – forget about sifted sand, the liners and the ventilation, who need those. Let the bales burp, who cares?!
And that is the core complaint of Fundacion Parkietenbos, wishing to get rid of the stench, making residents of several adjacent neighborhoods sick.
But some of the neighbors say: It stinks because improperly disposed, fix that operation and it will do just fine, no need to throw the baby out with the bathwater.
And find a reasonable alternative to burning hazardous waste, still delivered to the Dump of Parkietenbos.
The neighbors I spoke to also implied that what’s known as of Stichting Parkietenbos, is a privately held foundation of just one neighbor in the PR and marketing field who happens to also handle the Serlimar account, and would love to see the dreaded incinerator added to his portfolio, how convenient and lucrative. More paid PR work.
He is politically motivated, the neighbors imply. He does not represent the people living in the area.
And that is why they are ALSO trying to collect signatures. Signatures because they cannot go to court, Aruba has no clean air bill and in the absence of legislation and set standards Caribbean Trucking is trying the get away with a job half-done. And we cannot sue.
The counter-petition, is asking locals to sign, hoping to pressure Caribbean Trucking into compliance with their legal obligations. “Stop burning at Parkietenbos and correct the process at Seroe Teishi,” is the name of that counter-petition.
Stichting Parkietenbos, the original petition, invited the general public to personally sign to “Stop the activities at Seri Teishi and rehab the Dump @Parkietenbos,” last Saturday.
Of course we wish they could all get together and find the silver lining, broker an apolitical agreement, resolving the island’s garbage situation once and for all.