Owner of B’s Recycling Plant, Paul Bynoe says he is totally bewildered at how yesterday’s fire at his business got started in the first place.
This afternoon Bynoe told Barbados TODAY that the area where the fire broke out has not been an active part of operations for a very long time and therefore there is no plausible explanation as to why the blaze broke out in that area. However, no major damage was done and operations at the recycling plant did not skip a beat today.
The fire engaged firefighters from 4:30 p.m. on Tuesday until the wee hours of Wednesday morning, inconveniencing homeowners in the immediate area and downwind of the Cane Garden, St. Thomas facility.
“Yesterday I got a call that there was a fire on the property and just around 2 a.m. the firemen had the blaze under control except for a few small pockets. The question of what could have caused this fire is the golden question. I don’t know how to answer that because when I heard about it, I was shocked. It happened in an area where we do not work at all and we are trying to find all kinds of reasons as to why this thing could have happened, but we can’t come up with anything at all,” said Bynoe, who would not venture into whether he suspected foul play.
He added, “We had some plastic here and we were looking for a way out over the last couple of months and that is what the fire burnt but it did not stop work today at all. We were ready for business by 8 this morning as usual.
It was the third time this year alone, the fire service was pressed into action at a recycling plant. This latest fire to affect the parish of St. Thomas followed a major incident in February at the Mangrove Landfill when it burst into flames showering residents in surrounding districts with dangerous fumes. That was followed in June, by a fire at the neighbouring Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC). When Barbados TODAYvisited the area this afternoon some residents complained that the incident was one more reason on a long list why the plant needs to be moved immediately.
“This is a health hazard and it should never have been there in the first place,” said one person, who did not want to be identified.
However, Bynoe said that while he was actively trying to move, it was not logistically possible to do it as quickly as some people would like.
“It is the second fire here in the space of about six years and I know that we would get an outcry from neighbours and people downwind but just like any other fire in Barbados, we have no control over it, with regards to when and how it starts. When it comes to the relocation, we are more than ready to move but we still have one or two little things to tidy up and we are hoping that after this dark cloud, a silver lining will appear. But I won’t be able to give a timeframe as to when we would be able to move,” he said.
In the meantime, the businessman gave the public the assurance that the company would continue to conduct the business under the strictest safety guidelines for the protection of all.
“Anybody that knows me would know that I always say ‘if it is not safe then don’t touch it’. So anything that could cause harm to the body or the environment, I am not a part of. We ensure that everything we do around here is safe, it is safety first then anything afterwards,” Bynoe said, pointing out that given the relatively new nature of this business in Barbados, much does not exist in terms of established safety rules and guidelines.
“You must remember that what we are doing here is new to Barbados. This is no get up and follow the safety rules that are already made for this kind of activity. So a lot of times we are trying to make it right as we go along but we have been in this long enough that we know and see things that we should never do,” he stressed.