GOVERNMENT COMMITTED TO 4R’s PHILOSOPHY

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Pictured at the launch of the University of the West Indies’ Recycling Initiative are (from left) Deputy Principal of the UWI, Dr. Eudene Barriteau,  Minister of the Environment, Dr. Denis Lowe, and Professor Robin Mahon.

The Barbados Government has reiterated its commitment to the three R’s philosophy – Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – and has added a fourth – Recovery!

This commitment was recently enunciated by Minister of the Environment,
Dr. Denis Lowe, while addressing the launch of the University of the West Indies’ Recycling Initiative at the Errol Barrow Centre for Creative Imagination.

“Government…is absolutely committed to the 3R’S philosophy of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle, and at the launch of the 3R’s fair on September 13, 2008; we introduced a 4th – Recovery – as part of Government’s commitment to adding waste-to-energy to the equation  for addressing solid  waste management in Barbados,” the Minister told the gathering of recyclers, university officials and other  guests.

Making it clear that returning items for reuse or recycling was “not a new practice for Barbadians”, Dr. Lowe cited the Returnable Containers Act of 1986 which, according to him,  had “worked well” to reduce the amounts of glass and plastic containers entering the landfill. He noted, however, that it did not adequately address other containers.

“For this reason, the Act is being revised to ensure that it is more relevant to today’s situation, as the number and types of items that can be recycled have increased,” the Minister explained.

Minister Lowe, however, stressed that several types of waste were still being recycled on the island, including paper, plastics, glass, ferrous and non-ferrous materials, cooking and automotive oils, newsprint, cardboard, batteries and other electronic wastes.

Dr. Lowe said Government was also embarking on a number of initiatives including the establishment of the Solid Waste Management Centre at Vaucluse, St. Thomas. The facility will include a transfer station for the processing and sorting of waste; a chemical waste storage facility; as well as a materials recovery and composting facility.

He added that Government was also examining the feasibility of pursuing a number of waste-to-energy options, including incineration and the conversion of landfill gas-to-energy.

cgaskin@barbados.gov.bb

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