Minister of the Environment, Denis Kellman (FP)

A marrying of worthy causes has led to the successful culmination of a project which has contributed to a greener Barbados and bolstered the efforts of the national HIV/AIDS Food Bank.

In his address at the closing ceremony for Project: Clean Give, last Sunday at the HIV/AIDS Food Bank and Personal Development Centre, Jemmott’s Lane, St. Michael, Minister of the Environment, Denis Kellman, emphasised:

"To my mind, the partnership approach and the commitment of the Barbados Youth Development Council, the Ministry of Education and Human Resource Development and Harrison College to this project shows clearly that the messages delivered by the Environmental, Health, Social and Community Development sectors are being heard and taken into consideration.??

[Government’s efforts have] resulted in the realisation of a 70 per cent reduction in the volume of waste being landfilled daily in Barbados.?? We have seen the diversion of some 700 tonnes out of the overall 1000 tonnes from the landfill on a daily basis.?? As a result, the level of disposal is now comparable to that of 1993…it is estimated that as much as 200 additional tonnes are now diverted daily to local recyclers and waste brokers by individuals and programmes and projects such as Project: Clean Give."

Speaking about the rationale for the initiative, Clean Give creator and BYDC Project Development Officer, Cherice Gibson, said: "Project: Clean Give started as a very simple idea birthed by the Government Information Service with their internal HIV/AIDS committee and Chairperson, Ms. Esther Jones, told me about the work they were doing and from that we looked at it to see how it could be adapted to fit into a school and impact some students and thus, Project: Clean Give was born.?? We wanted to empower youth during this International Year of the Youth, which started in August of last year and ends in August of this year.?? Since the BYDC is the umbrella organisation for youth organisations in the island, we wanted to do something during this year where you can see young people taking initiative," she explained.

The Project Development Officer added that the effort involved the installation of recycle bins for plastic bottles at the participating school, Harrison College, while B’s Bottle Depot assisted in the provision of the receptacles.?? Mrs. Gibson said that she was pleased with the outcome of the project and its related activities, not only for the contribution made to the Food Bank, but also for the level of commitment from the students and project partners such as the Youth Advocacy Movement, the Ministry of Education and Harrison College.

"We collected approximately 500 bottles in a six-week span, and the bins weren’t out every day.?? I thought that that was a big achievement," she noted, adding that the proceeds collected from recycling the bottles was donated to the Food Bank, along with contributions from?? food collection drives held at the school.

"We don’t want Project: Clean Give and the passion to die.?? Some of the ideas that we’re working on are to expand the project efforts into other schools.?? Throughout the project we have had interest by some persons from primary schools and some secondary schools as well, wanting to know how they can get involved.?? We’re also interested in launching a project website," she stressed.??

Mrs. Corbin also added that whilst they did have a presence on Facebook, they looked forward to expanding their reach via various activities, including online courses in relevant topics, such as social entrepreneurship.


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