The Barbados Government is expected to start rolling out a multi-million-dollar technology-driven waste management project by the beginning of the New Year.
The project, a joint undertaking between the state-owned Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) and the waste management arm of Barbadian company Innotech Services Limited, will be implemented over a ten-month period.
Chairman of the SSA Ramon Alleyne told Barbados TODAY this evening the venture, which will transform the way in which residential waste collection is done, will also redound to the benefit of those who work on the trucks.
“The priority is the staff and the well-being of the lorry loaders, and obviously you can’t put a price on that. There are also savings to be made through the logistical improvements in terms of how we deploy the trucks and routing and that sort of thing. Of course, it will mean improved service delivery and improved health situations for the loaders; and we should get operational efficiencies,” Alleyne said.
“I would say, we would wish to be in a position to meet the New Year, implementation, distribution of the roll out bins, the setting up of the electronic programmes and stuff like that…about a ten-month process,” he added.
The SSA chairman said the equipment to be used for the operation of the venture is on its way to Barbados. About 30-40 of the existing SSA trucks have to be retrofitted accordingly.
David Tomlinson, Director of Prosource Limited – the private company behind the design of the project – said each household in Barbados will be provided, free of charge, with a standardized Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) enabled 65-gallon roll-out cart for general waste and an 18-gallon bin to be used for commingled recycling.
“In addition, all the SSA’s collection compactor trucks will be retrofitted with market-leading equipment for mechanically lifting the carts. The RFID readers installed on the trucks will track collection activity, improve collection efficiency, and the in-cab route optimization and management solution will also benefit drivers whilst reducing SSA’s operational costs,” Tomlinson stated.
“Once implemented, the residential waste collection methodology for Barbados will change from a manual system to a much more efficient and safer mechanical operation,” he explained.
The executive said the solution includes a specialist software system capable of tracking, monitoring, and providing analytics for waste collection services and operations.
It also allows for automated work orders and asset inventory management. According to him, households will now also have a convenient way to dispose of recyclables using the new recyclable bin provided by the SSA.
Chairman of Innotech Group Anthony DaSilva told Barbados TODAY even though it is commingling recycling, it is a start.
“In this instance, we are starting and it is a big win for the country. I am happy about the recycling element…I am happy about the safety of the workers that this now ensures and the working conditions of the workers,” DaSilva said.
“What we will get away from is all these garbage bags all over the country and bins of different sizes and descriptions…and these are all enclosed containers so we will get rid of all the rodents and the problems that we have in Barbados,” he declared.
“The consequences of COVID-19, climate change and the ash fall caused by the recent eruption of the La Soufriere volcano only serve to underscore the importance of solid waste management and the need for efficient waste collection in Barbados,” said Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Adrian Forde.
According to him one of the most important tenets of sustainable development is a partnership, whether with private entities, community groups or individuals.
“The health and safety of our people are paramount in our environmental planning and development. This project will ensure our streets, beaches, ecosystems, wetlands and other areas of biodiversity are maintained. I am eagerly looking forward to this seamless transformation at SSA,” Minister Forde stated.