Saba exports more than 1M pounds recyclables

THE BOTTOM- Saba has exported more than 1 million US pounds in recyclables in 12 months, from March 2021 until March 2022. The recyclable materials were exported to the United States and handled at a waste management facility there. 

Combined with the last shipment of March 2022, a total of 1,0132,209 pounds of recyclables were transported off the island in containers. 

The vast majority of the export, about 70 percent, was plastics, of which 10 percent are bottles and caps. The rest, 60 percent, are miscellaneous plastics. All types of plastic can be recycled as long as they fit in the orange waste container which every household has for the purpose of collecting recyclables. 

Cardboard makes up 24 percent of the amount which was exported, metal cans about 3 percent and aluminum cans 1 percent. Even though 3 and 1 percent may not seem much, it is still important to separate and recycle these cans to prevent having to burn them. Saba also exports metals on a regular basis. Large metal objects, such as cars and zinc sheets, are exported with bulk shipments.

The recyclable materials (plastics, cans and cardboard) are compressed and placed in large bags or tied together in bundles, and stored in the containers at the waste management facility to await export for further processing.


However, exporting recyclables is expensive and yields very little or no profit. In most cases, the sale of the recyclable materials does not yield a sufficient return to counteract the cost of shipping. The export of recyclable materials since its start before 2018 has been increasing drastically, and the Public Entity Saba has been struggling with allocating the necessary funding to pay for the export and to cover the structural costs of operating the waste management facility.

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