Social commentator Rawle Smith has warned Cane Garden residents of the danger of “throwing out the baby with the bath water”.
He was among half a dozen individuals who held placards in support of B’s Recycling last Saturday while residents were protesting to force the relocation of the operation away from their district.
“I will preface my comments by saying that it is an unfortunate situation that the dump caught afire; so let me empathise and sympathise up front with the residents. I am very sorry this has happened. But I am here this morning to look primarily at the broader and bigger picture emanating out of all of this.
“Now Barbados has got to be cleaned up, and the Bynoes and B’s Bottling people have done a tremendous job so far — and there is virtually nothing in Barbados that is not recyclable right now. Sardine pan, corned beef can, you name it, all those cans that we import…
“I am not here to get into politics, I am not here to get into legalities — but we have to ask if it is wrong to get into this pursuit. Does this have merit?
“I am saying that we have got to have some place like B’s. Barbados has been enhanced, and we have to be very careful that in throwing out the bath water we do not throw out the baby as well. My main question is: Is this a wrong move to have recycling done in Barbados and things undertaken to clean up the environment?
“And the truth is that every nook and cranny has been cleaned up. There is a lot of evidence of it, all in the gullies etc. I thank the Bynoes for their pursuit of a cleaner Barbados. Barbados is better for it!”
Another “counter-protester” insisted that “the fire was not de man’s fault” and if was therefore unfair to shut him down because of the actions of others.
Declining to give his name, he said: “At least give the man three months, and if he does not find some place then you can shut down the business, but to shut down de man just so ain’t make no sense.
“I come out to support him because it is now three years I have been doing this. I used to do mason work, but there is no work out there so I turn to old metal. I have a young child three years old so I have to look for money to survive.
“At lease give de man three month to look for some place; if he don’t find a place and wunna want he to leave then shut down the place, but to just shut down a man business so ain’t right. If it was a white man we wouldn’t be hearing all this noise.
“He ain’t humbugging anybody. It is just that they had a fire, but it is not like the fire was his fault. There ain’t nobody dumping stuff out here so I don’t know what all the noise is about…” (RRM)