Bureau Telecommunications and Post St. Maarten (BTP-SXM) represented by Ryan Wijngaarde met with core members of the CSR committee of the Caribbean Telecom Association (CANTO) in Trinidad this week for the kick-off of a regional E-waste project.

The session was chaired by Mr. Julian Wilkins, Chairman of the board of Directors of CANTO. Objective is to raise awareness amongst telecom providers in the Caribbean region regarding the global Electronic Waste problem and to assist them in finding sound solutions for the collection and disposal of end of life (EoL) mobile phones. CANTO’s project team, a unique collaboration between providers, regulators and suppliers, is working diligently to establish guidelines, papers and best practices for the industry.

Reason for CANTO to create awareness for this issue is because E-waste is harmful to the environment. Electronic devices, such as mobile phones, can contain toxic and hazardous materials and when those electronic products are burned or put in a landfill, those toxic substances – such as mercury, cadmium, chromium and lead – can leach into our soil and water.

Director of BTP-SXM, Mr. Anthony Carty sustains the initiative for a regional approach to tackle the issue effectively. “The global volume of e-waste generated annually is almost 90 millions of tons, and figures shown that the volume is going up in a rapid pace. It’s very concerning since it’s causing significant environmental pollution and health risks. As the regulatory body in the Telecom industry we will continue to assist CANTO in creating awareness for this problem and work towards a sound solution for the disposal of End of Life mobile phones in St. Maarten”.