BASSETERRE, ST. KITTS, March 21, 2022 (MMS-SKN) — The Republic of China (Taiwan) has made significant strides in waste management, becoming a shining example of a country that has moved from recycling to circular economy and St. Kitts and Nevis is bracing itself to follow that example.
Project Steering Committee members of the recently launched St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project were last week Thursday (March 17) apprised on Taiwan’s roadmap of its waste management from recycling to circular economy through an online seminar conducted by Professor Ming-Chien Su of the Department of National Resources and Environmental Studies at the National Dong Hwa University.
The prestigious National Dong Hwa University (NDHU) is a national research university located in Hualien, in Eastern Taiwan. Apart from environmental studies, it offers a wide range of disciplines, including the sciences, engineering, computer science, law, arts, design, humanities, social sciences, education sciences, marine science, music, and business.
The online seminar to share Taiwan’s experience of waste recycling management that was held at the Caribbean Confederation of Credit Unions’ conference room at the corner of Wilkin Street and St. Johnston Avenue in Fortlands, West Basseterre, was arranged and coordinated by Ms Joyce Chang, the local Project Coordinator.
The seminar was held in two sessions, and in the first one Professor Ming-Chien Su gave an outline of the evolution of Taiwan’s recycling system where she noted that 70% of waste in Taiwan is from industrial waste.
She talked of Taiwan’s waste recycling regulation and recycling management system, where she noted that garbage trucks are fitted with GPS tracking to prevent illegal dumping of garbage. She also explained how the country’s waste recycling fund operates.
In the second session, the Professor updated the participants on Taiwan’s current waste treatment and recycling status, and Taiwan’s waste recycling technology (paper, metal, plastic, glass, etc.). Participants were informed that Taiwan had banned the use of plastic bags and that shoppers were encouraged to carry their own bags, or they pay for one.
As defined in the Save Our Seas 2.0 Act, a circular economy is one that reduces material use, redesigns materials to be less resource intensive, and recaptures ‘waste’ as a resource to manufacture new materials and products.
The sessions were chaired by Ms Vicia Woods, Bio Safety Officer, Department of Environment, in the Federal Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives, who thanked Professor Su for sharing her expertise, her knowledge and her experience in the waste management and recycling project in Taiwan.
“We do trust that we have learnt today so that we can move forward with setting up a waste recycling management system of our own here in St. Kitts and Nevis,” observed Ms Woods. “It won’t happen overnight, but I definitely think from what we have learnt today we can take this and tailor it to our country’s specific needs. We can use her experiences and see how it can help us to reach the point that which Taiwan is today. Maybe it won’t be happening in the next two/three years, but we will definitely be on the way there.”
Ms Joyce Chang, Project Coordinator, St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project, thanked those who took time to attend the online seminar as their intention was to learn and to understand what Taiwan is doing in its recycling programme.
“Learning from the Taiwan experience, I hope we can cooperate together and make St. Kitts and Nevis a better society through this recycling programme for the benefit of the next generation,” said Ms Chang. “I hope we can here in St. Kitts and Nevis follow the Taiwan example, and I want to do something and make progress for St. Kitts and Nevis. What we have seen here today is very good reference for us to understand as we have something to copy.”
The three-year (July 29, 2021 to July 28, 2024) US$1 million St. Kitts and Nevis Solid Waste Management and Recycling Project, which was officially launched earlier this month (Friday March 4) will be executed jointly by the Federal Ministry of Environment and Cooperatives and the Taiwan Technical Mission in St. Kitts and Nevis.