Barbados is now ready to be seen as the flagship for the region on matters related to solid waste management at the residential, institutional, commercial and national level.

This is according to Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage, Edison Alleyne, who also pointed out that the efforts of stakeholders have positively affected cultural change with respect to solid waste management in Barbados.

He was at the time addressing the opening ceremony of the 4R???s (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, Recover) Fair at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre on Saturday.

???Through the implementation of the public awareness and education component of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Programme, the Unit, and by extension the Ministry, has been instrumental in the evolution of the philosophy with respect to how waste is now perceived,??? Mr. Alleyne said.

He explained that the country had moved from perceiving waste as being something useless and worthless, to now seeing it as a viable source of income, and a way to improve the country???s environment.

In fact, the Permanent Secretary noted, results from a recent Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices (KAP) Survey showed that 70 per cent of Barbadians were now involved in some sort of recycling activity, while the lifespan of the island???s landfill was increased with a 70 per cent diversion of waste.

He added that Government was committed to the development of the Green Economy, particularly with the creation of the Mangrove Pond Green Energy Complex at Vaucluse, St. Thomas.

That complex is expected to reduce Barbados??? dependency on fossil fuels, reduce its overall energy bill and amalgamate the Sanitation Service Authority.

???Our solemn task now is to capitalise on the momentum created to further ensure that we push ahead with respect to the preservation and protection of our precious environment for current residents and for future generations,??? Mr. Alleyne said.

And, he highlighted the Ministry???s public outreach and educational efforts as being a critical part of the Integrated Solid Waste Management programme. Those efforts included the launch of the Green Smiles CD on Saturday.

The Permanent Secretary described the CD as a ???creative, fun and educational interpretation of solid waste management for the primary school children???. The CD was composed and recorded by the students to promote recycling, anti-littering and environmental conservation.

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