Officials expect a decrease in the volume of bulky waste that gets dumped at the Seychelles' main landfill now that the Landscape and Waste Management Agency has commissioned its new heavy-duty waste crusher.
The crusher - manufactured in Germany by the company HAMMEL - is able to crush a whole range of waste ranging from wood, plastic, light metals and even rubber tyres.
The commissioning of the $660,000 machinery was held on Friday at the Providence landfill on the east coast of the main island of Mahe.
"The machine - the first of its kind in Seychelles - cuts and shreds normally big bulky materials into small chips. It not only does that, but through a magnetic separator it can also separate metals from other waste, and that is a big help as it will help us to better manage the main landfill here," explained the chief executive of the agency, Flavien Joubert.
The machine can also process big wood trunks and other vegetation matter so that it is shredded and can be used for composting. Other materials will be then compacted ready for exportation.
'With this, we hope to see an increase in activities around waste management and we want to see the exportation of materials such as shredded tyres which I am sure can be recycled elsewhere," added Joubert.
The cost of the heavy machinery has been paid partly by the government of Seychelles and one third by the Environment Trust Fund.
"Waste is a big issue and have negative impacts on our fragile environment. This is why the board of the trust fund decided to support this initiative as waste management is the responsibility of all of us," said Dennis Matatiken, the chairperson of the fund.
The purchase of the crusher will not mean that other local companies already recycling bulky wastes will lose business. According to Joubert, the crusher will be used to process waste that these businesses do not recycle.
"And that includes bulky things which are a mixture of metals and plastics such as fridges, washing machines and even old cars, which also takes a lot of space at the facility," said Joubert.
But what will happen with bulky waste from Praslin and La Digue, the two other most populated islands of Seychelles - an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean?
"This is the first step which is in line with our national strategy for waste management. We have other priorities, for instance, getting importers more involved. For example with the issue of electronics we will get them to have an agreement with their overseas suppliers to take back these broken electronics," said Alain Decomarmond, principal secretary for Environment.
The principal secretary added: "However as this is a substantial investment, in future we will look at smaller machines for the two other islands."
Joubert confirmed that bulky waste from Praslin and La Digue, which both have landfills, were transported to the main island to be processed and this has proven to be very costly.