(Oranjestad)—Yesterday morning, Minister of Tourism and Public Health, Dangui Oduber, held a press conference where he announced the cooperation agreement between the Tourism Product Enhancement Fund (TPEF) and Serlimar, with coordination from the Department of Public Works (DOW), to place 100 garbage bins along the coast of Aruba.
Minister Oduber explained that TPEF will purchase 100 garbage bins, which will be placed in 10 designated areas assigned to DOW for the maintenance and cleanliness work carried out by the teams under contract with TPEF. Serlimar is the company responsible for providing the garbage bins and installing them. DOW is responsible for coordinating the locations where the bins will be placed.
“The objective is to keep these areas clean at all times. A clean and safe Aruba is the image we want to offer to both our locals and visitors. That’s why this cooperation agreement is so important, and we now have the garbage bins after going through the procurement process and reaching an agreement with Serlimar,” Minister Oduber emphasized. He indicated that there are various factors that determine Aruba’s tourism success. They invest in marketing, focus on diversification, continuously invest in improving Aruba’s products, and ensure security to maintain Aruba as the safest country in the entire Caribbean, in the face of competition.
Regarding the announcement of the cooperation agreement, another important factor is cleanliness maintenance. “This cooperation agreement is of vital importance to have all the frequently visited areas, our localities, and the well-being of visitors well-maintained,” he said. At the same time, he appealed to residents to make good use of all 100 garbage bins. The bins will be strategically located starting from Arashi up to Baby Beach. TPEF is responsible for financing the garbage bins. It is a fund that invests in improving Aruba’s product and supports awareness, cultural heritage, and the environment. This project is part of the environmental pillar. Minister Oduber explained that for the year 2024, TPEF has several projects that have already been budgeted and will begin in the coming weeks. He mentioned the landscape project for Eagle Beach, where the entire road from the Amsterdam Manor roundabout to the Alhambra roundabout will be enhanced.
Another project is the mosaic project at Hooiberg. The Ministry of Tourism has already taken care of repairing all the steps of Hooiberg, and the next phase involves placing mosaics. Another project he mentioned, which is in the planning stage and financed by TPEF, is the Rodgers Beach project. This is an integral part of the master plan for Sero Colorado. He further explained that the third phase of the Baby Beach project is already in progress and will be delivered soon. Upon completion, the fourth phase will involve the renovation of the tennis courts, a kiosk, and a restaurant. Parallel to this, the Rodgers Beach project will also commence.
The third phase of the Malmok Boardwalk project aims to enhance the landscape at Fisherman Hut, and consequently, once completed, the fourth phase will connect Fisherman Hut and the Ritz Carlton. The intention, Minister Oduber indicated, is to extend this connection up to Radisson Blu, creating a continuous boardwalk route from Radisson Blu to Malmok. Nathalie Wolff, a representative from Serlimar, provided a detailed explanation about the garbage bins to be used in this project. She emphasized that the bins are functional, ecological, and meet the highest international standards.
Wolff indicated that the bins are manufactured in Germany and have undergone various tests, including heat tests, to ensure they are specifically adapted to withstand Aruba’s climate and provide maximum UV protection. She added that TPEF requested eco-friendly bins, emphasizing the concept of “less is more.” “The formula is simple: less color, more recycling. Additionally, the material used in the sushi bars is durable and 100% recyclable.”
Wolff explained that the bins came in their own stands, which were precisely cut and measured to fit the bins. She added that none of the bins have sharp edges, making them safer for public use and for those responsible for their maintenance. “We are confident that the public will make good use of them, and we have installed them for everyone’s convenience and to help us preserve and care for our environment,” she concluded.
Finally, Daryl Lue, a representative from DOW, confirmed DOW’s role in overseeing the 10 teams under TPEF. He mentioned that in recent months, DOW faced challenges with the 100 garbage bins that belong to them, especially in some locations. “What we have encountered is that several locations have an abundance of garbage. Initially, we were doing the cleaning once a day and not on weekends, but we had to adapt our operations, and now we clean five times a week, twice a day, including weekends. This same program will continue for the TPEF teams,” he said.
For this project, DOW advised the most strategic locations to place the garbage bins, considering the difficulties encountered in recent months. The biggest problem, Lue emphasized, is when people see a full garbage bin and throws the garbage on the side. “In this case, I urge the Aruban community not to do this. If you see a full garbage bin, please find another way to dispose of it,” he emphasized.
Regarding the placement of the TPEF garbage bins, Lue mentioned that they will start from Arashi and go all the way to Baby Beach. Bins will be placed at Eagle Beach, Linear Park, the Zeewijk area, and finally at Baby Beach and Rodgers Beach. Finally, he added that slight modifications will be made to the bins, creating a small hole in the lid to prevent the bins from becoming too full, as they are specifically designed for disposing of small garbage pieces.