The Government has not swapped the Bagatelle Metal Dump for any piece of land in St. Lucy.
The denial came from Minister of Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, who has responsibility for the island’s waste disposal, during a press briefing today.
“The Government of Barbados has not swapped any land — the River Bay or the Metal Dump at Bagatelle. That is the first thing. A Cabinet paper was written by my ministry in which the Government was asked to consider the transfer of the Bagatelle facility to B’s Recycling.
“In that paper, the ministry indicated to Cabinet that once it had given consent to contemplate the decision that was asked for, that: 1) the Environmental Protection Department, EPD, would have to be satisfied that the necessary studies would be done, which is the social impact study and the environmental impact study; and 2) that B’s Recycling would have to, of necessity, submit an operational plan that included all of the stipulated requirements of the Town and Country Planning Department, and that once that was done, then the Cabinet would consider whether the decision asked for would be granted. That is the Cabinet Paper. So no decision has been taken.”
Lowe’s denial followed media reports, as well as political platform claims by the Opposition Barbados Labour Party that there had been an arrangement for B’s Recycling owner Andrew Bynoe to take possession of the metal dump in exchange for Government’s use of land he has at River Bay.
But Lowe declared that no such thing has occurred, adding that furthermore, “one of the platform people that you refer to, was on the board of the Sanitation Service Authority when the Bagatelle Metal Dump came into being”.
He charged that when the dump was created it was done without Town Planning permission or EPD studies, which Government had insisted on for the transfer of the metal dump to B’s.
“This discussion only started when the name of B’s Recycling surfaced. The dump has operated since 1996 … unbroken to the point where B’s took over,” said Lowe. (LB)