Message is in the bottles for reducing St Helena’s waste

Bottle house picture by Tatum Design. Scroll down for a gallery of bottle-building images

Bottle house picture by Tatum Design. Scroll down for a gallery of bottle-building images

Bottles, metal cans and kitchen waste have been found to be the most common items going into St Helena’s landfill site at Horse Point – locally known as “the dump”.

Click the graphic to see what St Helena throws away

Click the graphic to see what St Helena throws away

Islanders are being encouraged to take up composting to deal with uncooked food scraps, and the disability charity SHAPE has set up a recycling centre that could deal with cardboard – if people can be persuaded to separate it out from other waste.

Work is also in hand to start crushing glass bottles to mix with aggregates for building work.

In the meantime Mike Durnford, the island’s climate change and pollution officer, has come up with an even greener solution to the beer bottle surplus, according to Sherilee Thomas, one of the hosts of an Environment Week exhibition.

She said: “Mike did a project at home where he used Windhoek glass bottles for decorative garden use. It’s very attractive and it actually stops his grass from growing into his hibiscus plants.”

St Helena Online suggests another possibility: using bottles as a building material. Houses, grottoes and even chapels have been built around the world using bottles and “cob” materials such as straw and mud.

See the picture gallery for examples:

(Note: this story has been amended to correct a paragraph saying that glass recycling was not a possibility for St Helena – prompting comments from two readers suggesting otherwise)

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0 Responses to Message is in the bottles for reducing St Helena’s waste

  1. Robert LEROT says:

    Don’t believe it’s too complicated. Here we have recycling bins in every small parish, collected every month by truck.
    There are small industrial glass crushers on the market. Why not use those? Specially if you are plan to open the island to tourism.
    Advantages
    -1- Be in-line with EU directives on recycling
    -2- Be able to use unqualify manpower and give them some work
    -3- Be able to use the residue powder to mix with concrete to produce ie pavement . This powder make a strong bond with cement.

  2. Pietro de Marchi says:

    I fully agree with Robert LEROT !
    There is no reason why glass recycling should be ruled for St Helena. There are many lessons that can be learned before the ‘new’ St. Helena is ready for change !
    I highly recommend reading the ‘Open letter to Governor Mark Capes’ by a Swiss tourist, published in the ‘Your Opinion Counts’ section, Pages 7 and 8, of the ST.HELENA INDEPENDENT 24 May 2013 issue.

  3. Pietro de Marchi says:

    Correction: ‘There is no reason why glass recycling should be ruled OUT for St Helena’
    Furthermore, it is better to recycle than adding too much ‘trash architecture’ to the landscape over time.

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