Integrated Solid Waste Management
The Government of Sint Maarten wants to transform Sint Maarten’s existing methods of disposing solid waste at the two landfills on Pond Island into an integrated system of solid waste management.
Currently, most of the solid waste collected in neighborhoods ends up in these landfills, which were not designed to handle the types and volume of waste disposed of there. The main landfill has grown considerably in the last two decades. Likewise, the adjacent landfill – known as the ‘Irma Dump’ – is also quickly accumulating larger waste materials, such as discarded furniture and waste from construction sites.
Introducing the principles of integrated solid waste management in Sint Maarten will mean changing the current situation to a comprehensive system that prioritizes waste prevention, reduction, reuse, recycling, and controlled, sanitized disposal, also known as the waste hierarchy. In this system, residents, businesses, and government attempt to prevent waste from being generated in the first place and divert as much of the generated waste to other useful purposes.
Moving to Integrated Solid Waste Management
Sint Maarten’s progress to this new system will be guided through the project, Moving to Integrated Solid Waste Management on Sint Maarten (ISWM-SXM), with the support of the International Cooperation Agency of the Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG International) and the NRPB.
Until December 2023, the project aims to strengthen the institutional framework for solid waste management in Sint Maarten and supports the following steps:
- Sketching the contours of a Waste Authority, which would be responsible for solid waste management.
- Advise on the financing of a Waste Authority.
- Advise on relevant legislation that enables the establishment of a Waste Authority.
- Setting up a communication framework that raises public awareness and involves stakeholders.
Additionally, the ISWM-SXM project team is drafting a vision for integrated solid waste management on Sint Maarten until 2030, which will be opened for public consultation and feedback.
ISWM-SXM builds on previous work by various local and international agencies, such as:
- An advice of the Social and Economic Council (SER) in 2016.
- The outcomes of the forum ‘No time to Waste’ organized by the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (VROMI) in 2018.
- The Waste Management Roadmap, which the Council of Ministers approved in 2018.
- Studies conducted by the World Bank between 2019 and 2020, which proposed strategies on how Sint Maarten can improve its waste management system.
The project adopts an inter-ministerial approach because the issue of solid waste management is relevant to all ministries. In November 2022, the Council of Ministers signed an inter-ministerial Decree to install a Project Oversight Committee, consisting of the Secretary-Generals of all ministries. The project team will work in collaboration with a technical working group consisting of experts from all ministries, and with a communications working group consisting of representatives of the DCOMM, NRPB, and VNG International. Additionally, a communications task force will be established with representatives of external stakeholders.
National Vision on Integrated Solid Waste Management
The national vision outlines a greener and more sustainable future for Sint Maarten, emphasizing a collective and personal responsibility to tackle the country’s waste management challenges. The vision sketches a framework where solid waste materials are reduced, reused, and recycled, and where waste management is structurally funded and executed by a to be established local Waste Authority.
ISWM-SXM is complementing the Sint Maarten Trust Fund’s Debris Management Project (EDMP). Within the next five (5) years, EDMP will oversee the construction of waste processing facilities near the main landfill, which will sort incoming waste from the country’s neighborhoods and allow for adequate disposal methods to occur, in line with regional and international standards. These waste processing facilities are expected to be handed over to the Waste Authority.
Learn more about EDMP here.