Environment

Bermuda is top of the waste chart

  • Anne Hyde, Director at Keep Bermuda Beautiful, guest speaker at the Rotary. (Photograph By Nadia Hall)

A World Bank report on waste management has found that Bermuda produces more waste per head than any other country.

Bermuda topped the world in per capita waste creation, with an estimated 4.56 kilograms a person every day.

But those figures were rooted in an estimation — based on 2012 figures — that the island would have a population of 62,000 and produce more than 100,000 tonnes of waste in 2016.

Anne Hyde, executive director of Keep Bermuda Beautiful, said Bermuda does produce a lot of waste per person, but that the situation had improved.

Ms Hyde said: “We do probably throw out an awful lot. If you went down to Tynes Bay and saw what people are throwing out instead of donating or passing on, you would be shocked.

“But I think more people are getting a better understanding and we are beginning to have a swing in a good direction. We are becoming more educated about it.

“We are in the middle of a gyre and we see what gets washed up on our shores. We are seeing more trash coming from other countries and it’s something that brings the message home.”

She added that single-use containers had become a problem, but increased awareness around the world had helped make progress.

Ms Hyde said: “I think in modern society there has been more and more availability in the market of disposable, single- use things and we are combating that.”

She added that Bermuda was already ahead of many other countries in how it handled its waste with the Tynes Bay waste to energy plant, but further progress could be made.

The report found the North American region — Bermuda, Canada and the United States — produced the most waste per capita.

It said: “All three countries in North America are high-income nations, and as such, waste management and disposal practices tend to be advanced relative to global trends.

“Waste management systems generally operate in an environmentally sound manner, have high capacity, serve nearly all citizens and enjoy more consistent financial stability and fee collection than systems in lower-income countries.”

The report relied on 2012 figures that Bermuda had a population of 64,798, and produced 82,000 tonnes of waste.

Based on those figures, the report writers estimated Bermuda’s population would fall to 62,000 while the amount of waste produced in Bermuda would increase to 102.261 tonnes.

But the 2016 Population and Housing Census said Bermuda had a population of 63,779 in 2016.

The 2017-18 Budget Book recorded that Bermuda incinerated 58,000 tonnes of waste in the 2016-17 budget year at the Tynes Bay waste to energy plant

Another 1,020 tonnes of recycling was collected, along with 600 tonnes of e-waste.

The report said: “As an island state with high tourist activity, Bermuda is the highest waste generator per capita in North America.

“Canada generates the least amount of waste, although it is not far behind the United States on a per capita basis.”

The study found the world averaged 0.74kg of waste per head a day, while in the North American region, residents produced an average of 2.21kg of waste a day.

The study found that in 2012, Bermuda’s 64,798 people produced 82,000 tonnes of waste — 1.2 tonnes per person.

The writers found the countries with lower incomes generated less waste per head and sub- Saharan Africa produced the least.