Recycling on Maio island

For some time people have been concerned about the lack of waste recycling facilities in Cape Verde. There is some recycling on the larger islands, but there is none on the scale found in most European countries. Now, with funding from the European Union, a project of waste sorting and recycling is being developed on the island of Maio. The Integrated Centre for the Collection and Treatment of Solid Wast (CITRES) includes a sorting plant to sort recyclable materials from waste. The waste is then to be disposed of in a new landfill that will replace the existing open-air one. This start up initiative is planned to last three years and will hopefully create a model that can be used on the other islands.

The plastic and glass items will be separated. New equipment will enable them to be re-used, or they can be sold with other recycled materials. The ability to use the recycled items to create new products will in turn help to encourage some new businesses. The project is supported by a Portuguese partner company – Camões – Instituto da Cooperação e da Língua, I.P. The formation of CITRES has just been completed. The next step will be to carry out an environmental impact assessment. Then the Câmara (Local council) employees will be trained and residents will be made aware of the new system.

Maio has beautiful beaches and offers tourists a lovely, peaceful, relaxing environment. It does not have the more commercialised tourist attractions found on other islands. This is one of the main attractions of Maio. However, this small island also needs to boost its economy. So it wants to provide some basic facilities to attract more visitors. It hopes that this will then encourage residents to stay on the island as there will be more employment.