Recycling and Litter Reduction. Keeping Bequia Clean, Green and Serene.

There are now approximately one hundred of our sixty-gallon bins strategically positioned in pairs around the island where people gather and stroll. The Green Bins are used for collection of plastic and metal drink containers and the Blue Bins for other small items (general litter). This Bin programme has been successful not just for the recycling of tens of thousands of containers but also in reducing litter in the community and, we believe, significantly reducing the mosquito population.

"Fantastic job Action Bequia. Thank you for all the wonderful projects you have been putting in place, like the recycling and litter bins in all the communities."
Debra Davis, Local Resident

"I marvel at the extensive accomplishments of the Action Bequia Team. Whilst the Belmont Walkway and new trails are likely the most visible, I am equally impressed with the scope and success of the ever-increasing recycling project. I think this is very much envied by other islands."
Ian Robb, Regular Visitor

Bequia Bins

Bequia District Council Officer Rannier Gregg and Bequia Tourism Association's Sayie Ollivierre at the "Ceremony" for the first of Bequia Bins Installation October 27, 2016.

"We were here two years ago on our boat. This year we have noticed a definite improvement in Port Elizabeth. So tidy and no stagnant water in the drains. Those piles of rubbish all gone! Thank you so much."
Anne Banks, Sailing Visitor

The drink containers collected in the Green Bins are sorted and washed then forwarded to All Islands Recycling (AIR Inc.) on St Vincent. All imports into SVG of plastic and metal drink containers pay a $0.50EC (yes, $0.50EC) levy that is recoverable if proof of recycling is established. Our efforts can therefore be rewarded and economic sustainability achieved. At this time, all items collected in the Blue Bins go to a landfill site.

Recycling Truck on Ferry

The weekly truck on its way to All Islands Recycling (AIR Inc.) in St Vincent (courtesy of ferry company Bequia Express).

Bagged Recycling

Bagged plastic at All Islands Recycling (AIR Inc.)

"We are extremely pleased with the quality and quantity of the regular shipments of recyclable plastic bottles and aluminium cans collected and sent to us by Action Bequia. They are doing an excellent job in helping transform the look on the island."
Dwight Hillocks, Director, All Islands Recycling (AIR) Inc.

Glass bottles were added to the recycling effort a year later. They do not attract the same incentive because they are not subject to the $0.50EC recoverable levy. However, we are collaborating with a local block builder who uses about 30% crushed glass in his mix and has our glass crushing machine working almost full time. The crushed glass can also be used in driveways, patios and local crafts.

Crushed glass

Crushed glass.

Recycling Cage

New lockable metal cage in Port Elizabeth for recyclables helps keep things tidy.

Terrace extension

Using glass bottles as infill on a terrace extension.

Arts and crafts project

Bequia Anglican Primary School Sixth Grade Arts and Crafts Project.

Ideally a second phase could move into a wider collection span (households and businesses) and the recycling of things like paper/cardboard/tyres and even maybe derelict vehicles, but this is ambitious and will go forward only when we have the confidence in its financial viability and sustainability.

The team behind the recycling concept was the UNDP (United Nations Development Programme), CFSVG (Community Foundation for St Vincent and the Grenadines) and the CWSA (Central Water and Sewage Authority). They were later joined by FOTE (Friends of the Environment, who are the CWSA collection contractors on Bequia), Bequia's District Council, Bequia Tourism Association, AIR Inc. (SVG based recycler). Lots of individuals, locals, expats and visitors and the Prime Minister himself have also contributed to the discussion.

Many thanks to the organisations and individuals who provided sufficient funding for us to invest in the evolution of our plans and the execution of them in their current form. Special mention must go to Grenadines Partnership Fund (GPF), the Koven family, the Seynhaeve Family and the UNDP. Together they provided the initial impetus behind the fund-raising efforts.

Rubbish / Garbage Truck

Frequent and efficient collections are now a regular part of keeping Bequia Clean, Green and Serene.

"Wonderful doings. We see the difference each time we come."
Rick Schella, Regular Visitor.

Actions Speak Louder Than Words


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