ST. JOHN’S ESTATE–Methodist Agogic Centre (MAC) Comprehensive Secondary Education (CSE) high school is not allowing red tape, a border or the stalled decision process on solutions for the ever on-fire garbage dump in the middle of Great Salt Pond on the Dutch side of the island stop the community and environmentally-minded efforts of students and faculty.
The school, the only UNESCO-affiliated school on the Dutch side, has taken the bold step to approach the French-side recycling company to partner with it to separate and recycle all school garbage.
In keeping with its obligations as a school affiliated with the United Nations Education and Science organisation, the MAC high school held an informative session about recycling, reduction of single-use plastic items, the need for a recycling and plastic pollution-tackling project in St. Maarten, and the recycling process on the French side on World Environment Day, June 5. The session focused on Forms I to IV students, teachers and staff.
Quotations and information on the cost of the correct recycling bins are awaited by the school of some 120 students and 40 faculty members. The wait for the quotations has not the stalled programme at the school.
As a UNESCO-affiliated, the high school has to observe the various UN-declared days with an emphasis on awareness and education.
Vice Principal Everton Nelson said the World Environment Day programme sought to make St. Maarten aware of issues related to the environment and pledge to keep it safe for a better future.
“We should take care of our environment all through the life. We should be active agents of this campaign,” Nelson said. He said this is why the high school started its own recycling project. “The French side is willing to partner with us in taking our waste, once they are sorted properly, and get them recycled in Guadeloupe. We are now waiting the quotations to buy the correct recycling bins for this regard.”
Local UNESCO Secretary-General Marcellia Henry said the programme at the school “tells me and the St. Maarten community that this school, the students, staff are also advocates of this cause, and will champion the need to protect our earth, our St. Marten and find solutions to reduce and eliminate plastic pollution.”