Minister of the Environment, Trevor Prescod should not be “patting himself on the back” over the purchase and eventual delivery of new garbage trucks, according to the Democratic Labour Party’s (DLP) spokesperson on the environment Andre Worrell.
During the party’s Sunday night meeting entitled A cry of the people, Worrell declared that Government must now explore alternative methods of managing the country’s waste by creating a policy for the separation of garbage at the household level.
Worrell complained that while previous efforts at constructing a waste to energy plant appeared to have wasted away, the Mangrove Landfill at Vaucluse, St Thomas continues to face tremendous pressure.
“So Trevor, stop patting yourself on the back because you really need to get out there and start speaking to the larger issues with regard to the environment in Barbados, garbage collection and waste disposal.
“It is unfortunate that we have thousands and thousands of tons of garbage in Barbados on a monthly and daily basis. It is way too much and we really need to reach a point in Barbados where we start separating the garbage at source so that we make it easier to find room for disposal. We still have not opened the one at Greenland and we still don’t have a waste to energy plant to date,” Worrell said.
He however gave the assurance that the DLP has solutions to the problems, which they are eager to share. He warned that environmental issues ought not to be politicised. As part of the effort, the DLP spokesperson suggested Government provide incentives for Barbadians who separate their garbage instead of suggesting punitive measures.
“If you take out all of the tins fork and mayonnaise and all the organic waste and put it one side, knowing that there is a refund policy in place where you could return those items to a bulk collection area and you receive some sort of refund, I am certain that many children in Barbados would do it as a way of earning pocket change and many households would do it to make ends meet. You can separate the metals, you can separate the glass, and then when it comes to organic waste, you can think about composting,” suggested the spokesperson on environmental matters.
He predicted that once the right technologies are in place, employment opportunities would increase significantly as Barbados taps into the multibillion dollar global “garbage industry”.
Worrell, who last year called for the heads of Trevor Prescod and Sanitation Service Authority Chairman Rudy Grant, also credited DLP members for pressuring Government into fulfilling its promise to replenish the fleet of garbage trucks, which arrived in late December.
“Had it not been for the voice of the Democratic Labour Party placing pressure on Prescod and the chairman of the SSA, we would still be looking for those trucks. We would still be hearing that the trucks are on the water.
“We would still be hearing that the trucks are on the way, that they are on order and are expected to be in Barbados over the next two or three months. But the Democratic Labour Party assembled a voice and pressured the Government,” Worrell declared.