This island’s largest operator in the recycling industry is calling on Government to implement laws to make it mandatory for households to separate their garbage.
In addition, Managing Director of B’s Recycling Paul Bynoe is urging the Mia Mottley administration to provide incentives to encourage more people to recycle.
Bynoe said while more people were becoming aware of the importance of recycling and practising it, there was still a lot more work to be done.
“Yes, more people are getting on board, but in my opinion it needs Government to come and say ‘this is the way we are going and these are the items that must be recycled’.
“The same way we came with a seatbelt law, I cannot understand why up to now we have not come out to the people of Barbados and say ‘this is what we are doing when it comes to garbage’,” he said.
Noting that 98 per cent of what was considered garbage could be recycled “We need to separate at households, what it is that you send to the landfill and what will go to a recycling company. If you separate it at household the sanitation will have very little to do,” he added.
Bynoe explained that with a law in place officials of the Sanitation Services Authority (SSA) could be the ones to “write up” individuals who fail to separate their garbage.
“It is done across the world. Who does the policing is the very man who is driving the sanitation truck. If you are not doing what you ought to do he should be able to write you up there and then . . . but right now there is no law,” he complained.
Bynoe was speaking with reporters at his Cane Garden, St Thomas facility after a planned tour of the location with Minister of Maritime Affairs and the Blue Economy Kirk Humphrey was cancelled at the last minute.
The recycling advocate said there were multiple benefits to having garbage separated at the household level, and he believes Government could help the process by providing some form of incentive for the industry.
“For sure you are going to create some foreign exchange. You are also going to save the landfill and create jobs,” he said.
“If you look at a PET (polyethylene terephthalate) drink bottle for example, because everybody knows you can get back money on that bottle you don’t see them knocking around. If we spread the net to all plastic bottles then I am saying to you, Barbados will be a cleaner place,” he explained.
He said: “The same way you look at all the taxes, you should look at what we are doing and see how you could help. Every PET bottle that comes through here we pay for and every can, so I am saying to you, the same people who have to pay the water bill and the fuel tax and every other tax, Government can look at helping some of those people by expanding the net on the various bottles and cans so that the money could spread a little further.”
Currently, individuals net as little as ten cents, for a PET bottle, and are able to earn as much as $400 for up to six large bags of sorted PET bottles.
Bynoe said the ban on petro-based plastic and styrofoam products would not affect his operation given that the market for plastic bags was minuscule.
However, he said there were still a number of people who were still not clear about which products were excluded from the ban, which takes effect on Monday, July 1.
“I think the Government needs to identify what exactly it is that they are banning and explain it in layman terms so that people would stop and understand what it is that they are really banning,” said Bynoe.
He explained that his 18-year-old business was not adversely affected by the implementation of a fuel tax or the changes in land tax and the levy attached to water consumption.
Pointing to an increase in metals and plastic bottles, Bynoe said a number of retrenched Government workers were now selling items to the recycling facility.
“We see some new customers bringing in different items and obviously other people would be bringing in a little more. I know this is because of the layoffs because we talk to the customers and they will tell us certain things,” he explained.