Two experts in the local environmental business sector are suggesting that recycling centres like the one ravaged by fire in Cane Garden, St. Thomas this week ought to required to conduct environmental risk assessments before setting up.
The positions were held by Managing Director of EcoBreeze, Dwayne Barker, and Director of New Projects at Williams Industries, David Staples, while answering questions from reporters at the inaugural National Services Week, organised by the Barbados Coalition of Service Industries at its Pine Plantation Road, St. Michael corporate offices.
Barker and Staples, whose companies were impacted by the toxic smoke from the blaze which wiped out B’s Recycling metal dump of discarded vehicles, agreed on the need for regulations to governing similar facilities.
Barker was of the view that a lot of components must be carefully considered, before entrepreneurs were allowed to set up businesses that could adversely impacr the environment and by the extension, the health and well being of people.
“We need to make sure we are proactive and not reactive,” asserted the EcoBreeze head.
In supporting Barker’s sentiments, Staples added that there was also need for a fire plan to be in place.
However, none of the two business leaders would commit themselves to recommending the relocation of B’s Recycling. Both men felt such a decision would be better taken by the technical personnel in Government or should be a policy decision.
Meanwhile, Staples disclosed that his company had “large” plans to move ahead in making Barbados a world leader in renewable energy. He said he was of the view that Barbados needed to work on its environmental regulations with regards to getting products through the port more easily than what obtains now.
Staples noted that Williams Industries’ renewable energy project was “suffering” as a result of materials being held up at the port because customs was demanding payment of about $50,000 in taxes, when the equipment was supposed to be VAT free.
He described such actions as putting a damper on the renewable energy sector, which, if given greater “financial freedom”, could produce at least 20 per cent of electricity demands by 2019, long before the target set by Government.
“We could have that done by 2019 … with all the regulatory systems in place,” pointed out the “green economy” activist. (EJ)††