BGIS??? Recycling Efforts A Model For Other Departments To Follow

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Green Team members Esther Jones (left) and Lynn Lucas assisting a visitor to the BGIS booth at Agrofest. (FP)

The recycling efforts of the Barbados Government Information Service (BGIS) have been given the "thumbs up", and there are suggestions being put forward that other public sector departments should follow suit.

Information Officer and Green Team member, Esther Jones explained that the Bay Street, St. Michael Government department started its recycling efforts in 2006 and donated all of the money collected to the HIV Food Bank and other charities.

However, she suggested that other departments could use the money raised during the recycling efforts to purchase small, miscellaneous items rather than waiting for funds to come out of the Budget.

But, another Green Team member, Lynn Lucas, pointed out that it was not just about the money. "We wouldn’t stop even if they stopped giving money, because of the importance of recycling to the environment," she said, while noting that charities benefitted greatly from the donations.

They made these comments during a tour of the BGIS’ recycle facility with Project Co-ordinator of the Core Network, Vicky Merrick, and Green Team member, Trevor Springer.

Ms. Lucas explained that staff at the department brought their recyclable items, such as old television sets, fans, mixers, car batteries and newspapers from home and placed them in the various cans according to type, to be collected by representatives of B’s Recycling.

However, Mr. Springer noted that while staff contributed greatly to the recycling effort, it was still important to ensure that the items were placed in the correct bins and that the recycling area was kept tidy at all times.

Speaking after the tour, Ms. Merrick stressed that the idea of recycling in a workplace or in a school really took a work team to be successful. "I would love to see that your ideas can be replicated to other Government departments," she said.

She added that it was important for those involved in the recycling efforts to continue building on what they knew, and educate others in the process. "There are people who want to recycle but they are not sure how. Recycling has to be a process and people have to understand," Ms. Merrick said, adding that community recycling was the way to go.

The Project Co-ordinator identified schools, churches, community groups and anywhere people went regularly as among the best places to set-up recycling campaigns. "When you go to schools to talk about recycling, you end up fielding many questions on climate change, coral reefs and land degradation," she said.

Overall, Ms. Merrick added that it was very rewarding work, and noted that she hoped to see more recycling in Barbados. "I would also love to see more Government departments coming onboard," she stressed.

julia.rawlins-bentham@barbados.gov.bb

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