An Integrated Approach to the Solid Waste Management System on Green Turtle Cay, Abaco, The Bahamas

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Deal, Juliette
Small Island Developing Nations, Solid Waste Management, Waste, Waste Generation, Waste Reduction, Waste Diversion, Islands, Island Identity, Archipelagoes, Tourism, Systems Thinking , Bahamas , Green Turtle Cay , Abaco
Green Turtle Cay (GTC) is an island 3-miles long in The Bahamas with a strong tourism economy that has been negatively impacted from growing volumes of waste produced each year. The primary form of waste disposal on the island is open dump burning which is impacting the environment, community, and economy. The aim of this research was to answer two questions 1) what is the current state of solid waste management on GTC; and 2) how can government, the private sector, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), and community members on the island collectively improve the current solid waste management system (SWMS)? A content analysis of grey literature, survey of residents on GTC, 3) and semi-structured interviews were used to conduct the research. The most significant results indicate that: • there are no regulations on integrated SWMS (only waste collection and disposal through landfilling or burning); • 95% of survey participants indicated concerns about burning waste on the island, and their personal health and wellbeing due to dump smoke; • the top three forms of waste produced from one tourism sector were plastics, organics and glass; and • two business in the tourism industry indicated waste generation increased by 280.14% and 266.53% between low and peak season. The output of the research are recommendations for GTC on how to address the crisis of waste on the island by implementing an Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS) through the development of: • an ISWM committee comprised of government, NGOs and the private sector; • island specific ‘regulations’ to guide and govern an ISWM plan; • a financial business plan for the ISWMS to sustain the system over time; • a local and regional ISWM resource and waste diversion guide; • a local educational campaign; • a phased strategic plan to remediate the dumpsite and construct a formal waste management facility; and • a call to action with Central Government to create national ISWM regulations. My research helped to provide information for Local Government on GTC to submit proposals for a SWMS to Central Government. During the completion of this thesis, the Central Government of The Bahamas identified a contractor to remediate the dumpsite and develop a new waste management facility on GTC.
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