Waste management company principal Anderson Fat Child Cherry has rubbished Government’s latest scheme to fund garbage disposal.
Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe Wednesday announced plans to introduce a polluters’ fee for the management and disposal of waste.
Dr Lowe disclosed then that the proposed fee, which would first be discussed with stakeholders before implementation, would require the polluters to pay as part of a more effective waste disposal and management programme, which would include restructuring of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA)..
Cherry has dismissed the proposal as “pure rubbish”, insisting that Barbadians were already paying a steep fee for garbage disposal through Government’s contract with Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC), which is owned by prominent businessman Ralph Bizzy Williams.
He told Barbados TODAY Government could save millions of dollars by terminating its contract with SBRC.
“I want to clearly say that the polluter is already paying and they are paying a heavy price. We can fix the problem by Monday morning by $24 million. Fire SBRC or let him pay the recyclers some of what is being paid to him for processing way less waste than he is being paid for,” Cherry demanded.
“I think that it is pure rubbish,” Cherry, the owner of Jose Y Jose Liquid and Solid Waste Management Inc, said of the proposed polluters’ fee.
The controversial Cherry took a shot at Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler and Dr Lowe, as he recalled the various taxes imposed on Barbadians to fund waste disposal.
He accused them of not knowing what they were doing and proposed recycling as the way to cope with the garbage problem.
“Our Finance Minister and our Minister of Environment clearly don’t know what they are doing. I strongly believe and I am putting my money where my mouth is, that recycling is the way for Barbados and small developing countries to go,” he stressed.
He listed the Environmental Levy Act as at 2010, the Municipal Solid Waste Tax and the Consolidation Tax both enacted as at September 1, 2013 and the tipping fee introduced last year to support his theory on the two ministers.
“A poorly implemented tipping fee was introduced around May 2015 which I publicly opposed. I never opposed the concept of the tipping fee, I opposed the way it was implemented which should have been after a recycling programme was in place,” he said.
“Currently Barbadians – the polluters – are already paying $64 million per year, plus almost $1 million in legal fees for Cahill; $20 million is going toward collections and people are still not getting their waste collected; another $20 million is for operating a landfill that is neighbouring the Sustainable Barbados Recycle Centre; $24 million is being paid to a recycling company which admits to be only able to recycle three container loads per month, but they are paying private trucks to divert the waste to abandoned quarries all over Barbados, which we as Barbadians can do for $24 million cheaper,” the outspoken waste management official pointed out.
He said Barbadians generated approximately 750 tonnes of rubbish per day, not 1,000 tonnes for which they currently pay at $64 a tonne, of which an estimated 50 per cent is construction waste.
Cherry suggested that out of the remaining 375 tonnes, 60 per cent was compostable and 90 per cent of the remaining 150 tonnes left was in recyclables.
When contacted in St Lucia, Williams told Barbados TODAY he could not comment on the proposed polluters’ fee because he would need to know how it would work and what it really entails.
Interim chairman of the Waste Haulers and Movers Association Charles Read is adopting a wait-and-see attitude.
Read believes the stakeholders will eventually be consulted and it is at that point he would be in a better position to make an informed comment.