Minister of Housing and Lands, Michael Lashley (front row, left), Minister of the Environment (Ag), Denis Kellman (front row, second from left) and Chairperson of the SSA, Margot Harvey, (front row, third from left) stand with other government officials and Marchfield residents at the launch of the Marchfield Greening Project. (N. Hutchinson/BGIS)

It was proud day for residents of a St. Philip community when the Marchfield Greening Project was launched last Sunday.????????????

The project, which saw combined efforts from the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), the Solid Waste Management Department, B’s Bottling Depot and Ace Recycling Barbados Limited, has introduced the concept of waste reduction and recycling at the source – households.

Minister of the Environment, Water Resource Management and Drainage, Denis Kellman, praised the work of the contributing agencies and the emphasis placed on protecting the environment.

"This is indeed a pioneering step with respect to waste management in Barbados, as it is the first programme to be launched by Government that will focus on the collection of recyclable items at the source of generation.?? This pilot project will allow us in the Ministry of the Environment, Water Resource Management and Drainage to gather relevant data with respect to the logistics involved in a curbside collection programme for recyclables," he remarked.??

The project will not only feature curbside collection of recyclable items such as glass, paper and plastic, but also features an education component.?? This element, which has already begun with the hosting of a town hall meeting for residents, will include general waste reduction and composting at home.??

"The educational component of the Marchfield Greening Pilot Project will help us to gather the information necessary to comprehensively assess the feasibility of implementing curbside collection of recyclables in other communities across Barbados.?? As you can see, this will not be a government-only project.?? We have called upon members of the private sector to assist us in this venture.?? This partnership approach is fundamental if the programme is to be viable and indeed sustainable," Mr. Kellman emphasised.??

The Environment Minister underscored the need for members of the public to understand their responsibility in assuring an environmentally secure future, and highlighted both public and private sector efforts to achieve this goal.

"We as a country presently generate approximately 1000 tonnes of waste per day, which is more than three times the amount we generated back in 1993.?? However, with the implementation of several reducing, reusing and recycling measures, we have been able to keep that rate of generation steady over the last six years.?? And, indeed, through the combined activities of local recyclers and waste diverters, we now landfill the same amount of waste as we did in 1993.??

"The development of The Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre at Vaucluse, which represents a private public/partnership between the Government of Barbados and SBRC, is a state-of-the-art solid waste management facility unrivalled in the Caribbean.?? …In addition, the private sector recycling companies operating here in Barbados do a fantastic job in assisting us to reduce the amount of waste that has to be landfilled. This waste is now seen as a resource and some of it is shipped overseas to be recycled," he

explained.?? He added that a waste-to-energy component was also being considered, where an incineration facility and landfill gas-to-energy project would contribute to electricity generation and landfill diversion essentially converting "trash into cash".

Chairperson of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), Margot Harvey, said that her organisation was pleased to have participated in the project and hoped that it would be the first of many.

"We are making a more conscious effort to educate our communities to separate, reduce and reuse our waste…We at the SSA are doing our best to make Barbadians environmentally conscious and to build a healthier and stronger community…As we follow world trends in protecting our environment, we have accepted the offer to participate in this project and we are sure that there will be more projects, like this, to come," she said??

Householders were issued two refuse bins – one for general waste, the other for recyclable items, such as newspaper, plastic, glass and metal.

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