The recently launched multi-million dollar waste disposal project at Lears Quarry, St Michael is being confined
to the dumps.
The principals behind the recycling operation are being ordered to shut it down or face legal action.
The Town Planning Department has maintained that the operation has not had planning permission and it poses a threat to the island’s drinking water supply.
Chief Town Planner Mark Cummins repeated this position today when asked by Barbados TODAY for an update on the operations of Project Recycle Limited which is using the quarry at Lower Estate to dump and recycle garbage.
“They should not carry out that type of operation there, which is landfilling . . . cause that is in Zone 2 [restricted water zone for development],” Cummins said.
“No application has been submitted. We received a letter from Project Recycle Limited on September 23. We subsequently responded to them on October 2 . . . and what they are doing clearly constitutes development for which they have no planning permission . . . and we are in the process of serving the relevant instrument,” Cummins warned chief executive officer of the project Anderson “Fat Child” Cherry who is also owner of Jose Y Jose Liquid and Solid Waste Management Incorporated.
The chief town planner told Barbados TODAY in an interview on September 26 that Government would move swiftly against Cherry, saying his office would work with the Ministry of the Environment and the Barbados Water Authority. Without providing details he also said then that there were “certain instruments” to be served on the project owners.
However, he revealed today that the document with which the principals will soon be served require them to cease the waste disposal operations immediately.
“The instrument is requiring them to stop the activity and if they so choose, they can make an application to retain what they have started. When we serve the instrument and they continue, well then, we will take further action. But they certainly do not have planning permission for the activities that they are carrying out,” he emphasized.
Asked if the submission of an application would make any difference to the continued disposal of waste in that area, the chief town planner responded: “It still in Zone 2.”
On September 2 Cherry announced that he would establish a more than $60 million recycling project which he anticipated would lead to zero waste going to the landfill by 2020.
The CEO revealed at the time that more than $2 million had been spent to purchase five vehicles and equipment for the first phase of the three-part project, with the second phase expected to cost $9 million and $50 million for the third phase.
He said then the first two phases would create employment for about 75 people and a total of 115 people would be employed when the company became fully operational.
Cherry has said the quarry, which had been the site of illegal dumping, would be cleaned up and the waste which he had already begun to dump there would be separated and treated and some of the processed waste would be exported.
He also denied he was dumping illegally. “I acquired this quarry where people were dumping illegally, to clean it up and separate the garbage,” he said, pointing to a clump of tree branches in one area and construction material in another. “We are not dumping illegally. We are disposing of garbage in a proper way.”
He also said a proposal had been sent to Government outlining what the project would entail.
“We want the Government to partner with us,” Cherry said, at the time.
When contacted this afternoon Cherry declined comment, but referred Barbados TODAY to his media relations official, Deanzer Roberts. Roberts could not be reached either by phone or via social media and Cherry promised he would get her to return our calls.
Roberts had not responded up to the time of publication of this article.