June 4, 2020

The Editor speaks: Recycle


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Colin Wilson

We have an article in iNews Cayman today illustrating the number of things we would never think of recycling..

It’s published on our top slider under the title “Recycle”. The article, written by , is actually titled “Shocking Things You Didn’t Know You Could Recycle” and originally published on the CheatSheet website.

However, the large majority of the items cannot be recycled here on Grand Cayman, and I expect most of the Caribbean.

In fact the Caribbean is notorious for throwing everything away. The major problem is the thinking, “it will cost just as much or even more to fix it”, so throw it away.

It is too dar away and takes too much time to take it to tour favourite dump – “Mount Trashmore” and the governmentChristmas clean- up has passed us by, so find a piece of bush and dump it.

Even worse, throw it in the Sea.

The opening two paragraphs in the aforementioned article are a plea and worth repeating:

“There’s one super-easy way to do the right thing and give back: recycle. Making waste into new materials and items is genius. Not only does it help lower greenhouse gas emissions, it prevents waste and stops exhausting new, raw materials. Ultimately, recycling reduces water pollution from landfills, air pollution from incinerating waste, and energy use. In addition, recycling creates jobs, protects wildlife, and helps slow global warming. There’s really no reason not to do it.

“If you don’t recycle, please start. And if you do, please keep it up.”

Look at all the clean ups that like minded people are doing most weekends. Even our Governor and his wife chipped in.

In the Caribbean of yesteryear, and I’m not going back a very long time ago, we didn’t have to be reminded to recycle. It came naturally.

Do you remember the time when there was a soda operation on Eastern Avenue, , where you could get a couple of dollars back on returning the glass bottles after you had washed them?

Discarded clothes were cut into scraps and used to make small rugs to go into our bathrooms as a step in and out of the tub or shower.

How many businesses are there now that actually repair anything? Very few. Thank goodness for Cayman’s oldest man – 104 year old Mr. Wellesley Howard. He still repairs shoes. I know of only one other business here that repairs shoes. I hope I am proved wrong.

And it is not only here in the Cayman islands. The Caribbean is generally joining the road to the USA. The number one throw away country.

Even automobiles that once were repaired are now discarded.

What exactly does the Caribbean manufacture? Nothing? How much do we import from ? A lot. How much do we export to ? Zero.

There are plenty of smart people here but no one, it seems to me, smart enough to actually reuse our waste.

Yes, we do have recycling points for plastics and glass.

I understand there is a scheme operating in Aruba, Bonaire and Curacao.

At least some Caribbean islands are doing something.

We don’t. All we moan about is when the garbage we actually place in our bins are collected?

We really do have a justifiable complaint there.

However, if we recycled more ……..

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