Barbados is presently diverting 70 per cent of its waste from the landfill, but has the capacity to reach a diversion rate of between 90 and 95 per cent.
This was revealed by Project Manager in the Project Management Coordination Unit, Ricardo Marshall, as he made a presentation at the Knowledge Sharing Programme Capacity Building Workshop 2015 at the Accra beach Resort and Spa on Wednesday.
The workshop was held under the theme: Current and Future Solid Waste Collection and Management in Caribbean Countries.
Mr. Marshall noted that financing solid waste management always posed a challenge. ???Solid waste management is not glamorous; it is dirty, it has a smell, but it is also expensive,??? he stated, pointing out that there was a need to find the best option for financing such work.
While suggesting that public/private sector partnerships, Government and donor institutions be considered as a means of financing such projects, he also stressed the need for political will in the process, as well as public buy-in.?????We [Barbados] have been able to make the strides we have due to political will. There has been continuity,??? he observed.
With regard to public buy-in, the Project Manager said the island needed to move from knowledge to a change in attitudes and practices.
He noted that the KAP 2012 (Knowledge, Attitudes and Practices) survey showed that 82 per cent of those surveyed were of the opinion that solid waste management was the responsibility of the individual; 69 per cent were actively recycling; 17 per cent were actively composting; 22 per cent used reusable shopping bags when they went to the supermarket; and 49 per cent were only taking reusable shopping bags to the supermarket sometimes.
In reviewing Barbados??? efforts over the years to improve its solid waste management system, Mr. Marshall said the island???s biggest achievement was the development of the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC), which was as a result of a public/private sector partnership. He explained that the establishment of the SBRC resulted in a 70 per cent reduction of waste going to the landfill.