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St Helena Online

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

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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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