Published On: Fri, Aug 15th, 2014

The second Curaçao Clean Up on Saturday September 20th

CuracaoCleanUp_PressImage_2014_zl (3)WILLEMSTAD -- The biggest annual clean up on the island will have a sequel.

The second edition of Curaçao Clean Up is taking place on Saturday September 20th. During the first edition, on September 21, 2013, about 2,000 volunteers gathered nearly half a million pounds of waste. The organization is committed: “The action of last year created quite a buzz. We will keep going, not allowing the polluters in Curaçao to win”. For additional information, visit the website or the Curaçao Clean Up Facebook page.

Thursday afternoon the launch and press conference for the second edition of this large volunteer event took place in the auditorium at Dolphin Academy. The organization emphasized that the island has to deal with three types of waste: litter, dumped waste and dirt, and debris along the shoreline and underwater arriving from the coast. “If no one cleans up and no one shows more respect for our island, in a few years this paradise will turn into a big garbage dump”.

This year, with the help of as many volunteers as possible, the organization wants to clean up forty different locations from Banda'riba to Banda'bou. Underwater locations will be visited by divers, remote dumpsites by companies with heavy equipment like loaders, trucks and bobcats. Fields and bays will be tackled by families, school groups and scouting groups and long-strewn roads by large groups of volunteers, businesses and organizations flanked by pickups full of garbage bags and big bags. The Curaçao Clean Up organization facilitates its volunteers with as many trash bags, gloves, drinks and other materials as possible. "The positive feeling of all those people working together on one morning gave us goose bumps last year," said the Curaçao Clean Up organization.

To keep the island clean long after the clean up, a good environmental legislation is necessary. With the breakup of the Netherlands Antilles that legislation did not pass along to the country of Curaçao. This is certainly not a reason for the organization to blow off the Clean Up for this year, but it is a reason to try and get more information and agreements from the Ministry of Health, Environment and Nature. Chairman Maarten Schakel: "Last week we presented our plans to the Ministry and expressed our concerns that the legislation has not yet been implemented after four years. They have invited us for a follow-up appointment next week, where we will have access to the draft legislation. A deadline for implementation was not given. In addition, the Department spoke about starting with more intensive inspections". This is possible based on existing laws and legislation.

According to the organization, the most frequently asked question is “Why participate? Next year it will be dirty again”. "But everything helps," says Schakel, "you can not expect that after one day of cleaning, all polluters in Curaçao will change their behavior. Awareness and behavioral change needs time, but at least we are going in the right direction! "Many of last year’s locations have remained clean. We continue to fight for a cleaner island and will not let the polluters win! "

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