Barbados has moved a step closer to seeking out the best routes for waste collection.

And, Acting Minister of the Environment and Drainage, John Boyce, is of the opinion that it could potentially lead to significant savings to the state-owned Sanitation Service Authority.

He made these comments as he delivered remarks during the opening of a Knowledge Sharing Programme Capacity Building Workshop under the theme: Current and Future Solid Waste Collection and Management in Caribbean Countries, at the Accra Beach Resort and Spa today.

???Route optimisation can result in significant savings through the reduction or elimination of empty miles; more efficient and effective loading of vehicles, thereby reducing the wear and tear of garbage handling vehicles; and ultimately provide a more dependable, efficient and effective waste collection system,??? he said.

He explained that while every household in Barbados should receive at least one collection of garbage per week, it was usually difficult to maintain given the reality of an ageing fleet of vehicles.

That uncertainty surrounding collections, Mr. Boyce stressed, highlighted the need for the improved route optimisation study, as Government sought to realise the vision of the Integrated Solid Waste Management Programme to have a modern, dependable waste management system available to all residents.

However, the Minister maintained that even with an improved collection system, residents still needed to consider the 4Rs (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and Recover), and thereby reduce their waste generation as much as possible.

Mr. Boyce said at present the island generated an average of 1,000 tonnes of waste per day, of which domestic waste accounted for between 30 and 40 per cent.?????Much of this 300 to 400 tonnes of domestic waste can be recycled, as can the majority of the industrial, commercial and institutional waste,??? he indicated.

Meanwhile, a recent Knowledge, Attitudes and Perceptions study showed that over 80 per cent of respondents saw waste management as their responsibility, resulting in 20 per cent of waste being diverted away from the landfill.

In addition, the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre accounts for 70 per cent of the waste being diverted and processed into a number of products for local use and in materials for export.??Mr. Boyce added that there was also diversion at source of 200 to 400 tonnes per day of other materials processed by local recyclers and waste brokers for export.

The study is as a result of a Technical Cooperation Agreement allowing Barbados to access grant funding from the Ministry of Strategy and Finance of the Government of the Republic of South Korea, and the Export-Import Bank of Korea through the Inter-American Development Bank.

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