Friday, 20 January 2017

Beach Reclamation Project

I have a new project, you guys.


At the back of the island is a... um... I don't even know what to call it…

Suffice to say it's a mess.  A big fat mess.

A smouldering pile of rubbish.

The pile was (is?) supposedly for burning large organic materials like the huge logs that wash up on the beach.  But this pile is full of all sorts of things that do not belong in there - glass bottles, tin cans, batteries.  Plastic, obviously.

As soon as we arrived we made changing this "system" a priority.

But changing a mindset and long term habits is a slow, slow process.

On Thursday, during our beach clean, we spent hours there making sure no one was dumping nasties onto the burning pile.  We taught the people who came by what could go on the pile, what could be recycled and what needed to go in the trash.  It was arduous but important work.

Slowly, I hope we will get there.

Unfortunately, changing habits, while it will prevent the problem getting worse, won't fix the damage that has already been done.  Which is why I'm making it my mission to clean up the mess that's already there, reclaim the beach, and, hopefully, plant mangroves.

It's going to take time, but doesn't everything important?

Today I spent a few hours pouring through the mess, filling up bags with rusty tin cans, broken glass, charred batteries, and the usual plethora of plastic.  3 bags of rubbish, 1 bag of recyclable plastic and 12 unbroken recyclable glass bottles.  

4 big sacks full and it hardly looks like I was there at all, like I haven't even put a dent in it.

But I have.  I have put a dent in it.  I've put a 2 hour dent in it.  I've put a 4 bag dent in it.

And slowly, 1 hour at a time, bag by bag, I will take the beach back.

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