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MP Forde embraces recycling businesses

by Emmanuel Joseph
7 min read

A local Cabinet minister wants Government to come to a speedy and satisfactory resolution with the owners of two recycling projects located in different parts of St Thomas.

MP for that constituency Cynthia Forde said on Monday she fully supports the proposed Recycling Project Limited which prominent waste hauler Anderson Fat Child Cherry is in the process of constructing at Mangrove and Paul Bynoe’s B’s Recycling metal operations closed by Government at its Cane Garden headquarters.

Forde, who is Minister of People Empowerment and Elder Affairs, is adamant that while she sees the need for the two projects to bring social and economic value to the country, she does not support the way in which the principals had gone about their business in order to achieve that.

Minister Forde was making reference to the recycling project which Cherry is about to set up, but so far without Town and Country Planning permission. B’s Recycling was closed in May, after the facility was deemed a significant fire hazard.

Last week, Cherry got a sound chiding from Minister of Energy, Small Business and Entrepreneurship Kerrie Symmonds, in whose St James Central Constituency part of the Mangrove project is located.

Minister Symmonds contended that the waste hauler’s decision to start the facility without Town Planning permission would not be tolerated and he urged the Chief Town Planner and the Environmental Protection Department to take urgent action against the businessman.

B’s Recycling, on the other hand, had been the scene of a large fire in August of 2019, and an inspection in April this year found that once again it was filled to capacity, had a rat problem and a high level of combustible materials.

Bynoe had agreed to stop accepting materials to B’s Recycling, so that the metal could be divided into five piles which would allow personnel of the Barbados Fire Service to carry out a rescue or fight a fire should one occur.

“At the end of the day, who have been the sufferers in all of this? The residents, the employees in the environs and the taxpayers of Barbados who have already forked out millions of dollars, particularly now where B’s Bottling is concerned with the fire, trying to ease the tension with the fire burning for months, with all of the nonsense that was up there and not keeping our environment in the way we would like it,” Minister Forde told Barbados TODAY.

“I understand what is happening, but I have a tremendous difficulty with the way it is being done. And I wish him well; I wish everybody well and I pray that we will come to a happy conclusion where the businesses of Mr Cherry and Mr Bynoe can happily co-exist with what is happening here because we need businesses of that nature. But we cannot continue if we are not conforming with the rules and regulations of the land,” she declared.

“I am supportive of the projects from the perspective of yes, keeping the environment clean, yes, generating foreign exchange, yes, generating employment, but I have a difficulty if it is going to be functioning without the necessary authorization of the entities involved because at the end of the day the residents are the ones who are suffering and the rest of Barbados.

“The Government of Barbados has been putting quite some millions of dollars into that project [B’s] and I would want for it to be ameliorated where we come up to a happy conclusion that B’s Bottling can continue to function under certain regulations that would not impact on the lives of Barbadians,” Forde stated.

The St Thomas MP also pledged her support for B’s Recycling’s application for permission to relocate the business “to keep the environment clean and to enjoy the benefits of the foreign exchange as well as employment…I am all in favour.”

In October this year, the top brass of the Barbados Fire Service declared that it has no part in an ongoing five-month Government-imposed ban on operations at the B’s Recycling Plant which should have ended in September.

Chief Fire Officer Errol Maynard had told Barbados TODAY that an operation at the Cane Garden establishment had been completed months prior and from the standpoint of his department, operations at the metal collection component of the plant could be cleared to continue.

But when contacted, Bynoe described business as extremely rough pointing out that he still has not been given the go ahead from Government to resume the intake of metals and had no idea when he would get the all-clear.

“I don’t have a clue. I cannot speak for the Government. I couldn’t speak then and I cannot speak now. What I know is that I am prepared to work with Auntie Mia [Prime Minister Mia Mottley] because that’s muh girl. And don’t fool yourself, Mia will be in power for the next 10 years. She got this first term and the next two terms,” the B’s Recycling owner told Barbados TODAY on Monday, adding that he is only allowed to receive bottles and non-ferous metal.

Asked how the limit to his operations was impacting his bottom-line, Bynoe replied: “It isn’t about profits, it is about breaking even. It is serious. This is serious.”

Pressed to say if he was breaking even, the recycler continued: “Man breaking even is serious. You got people who come here that depend on us because of what they deal with. There are either bottles, tops or cans. You know I am not taking any metal. When I say not, I am taking metal alright, but only the non-ferous, which is the copper, the brass, aluminium, stainless steel and that kind of thing. Fridge, stoves and washing machines, I am not taking them because of closure right now.”

Bynoe dismissed the notion that discarded bottle collection is a “paro thing”, it is the way of life. “One time in my opinion it was lives and livelihoods. Forget the livelihoods, we dealing with life now, not livelihoods anymore. It is that type because of COVID,” the businessman argued.

He also complained that his export business has been severely dislocated because of “very” high freight rates.

“It rough. It rough because ocean freights gone so high. So high. I don’t even know why. One time you could have paid X amount to move a container from here to the Middle East, Now, the same very container triple that going price. So how do you win? I don’t know,” Bynoe stated.

Meanwhile on Sunday, Cherry delivered a strong rebuff against the criticism of Minister Symmonds, urging him that instead of trying to “bury me, why not help me?”

“I am again in the media defending myself against those who say they are representatives of the people….defending actions that for the past 30 plus years have been focused on developing a model that delivers on every single one of the objectives of COP26,” the local recycling advocate told Barbados TODAY.

“Instead of over-reacting on poor or inaccurate third party information, why not help me, as the minister in charge of small business to get my long outstanding plans through Town Planning; help us with the technical support with our EV projects; help us commission our new solar manufacturing project [and] help us bring all the ministries and technical support to help our project,” he urged.

Cherry also invited Symmonds to visit the site and see for himself what has been achieved and what is projected.

He argued that his companies have been using the media for years trying to roll out a recycling plan. “We need help from your office,” the businessman urged.


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