Waste, once considered in a negative light, is now being regarded as a resource to be diverted to a more useful end.
This is a fact which the Solid Waste Project Unit (SWPU) wants Barbadians to be aware of as it implements a comprehensive recycling programme over the next few months.
The SWPU has indicated that there are a number of businesses which have sprung up to meet the needs of recycling in Barbados. “Companies are turning plastic pet bottles, news print, rum bottles, cooking oil and automotive batteries, to name a few items, into big bucks”.
The Unit realizes that not many individuals are aware of the various places where one can take automotive oil, non-ferrous metals (metals not containing iron, including aluminum drink cans) as well as ferrous metals, and that organic waste can benefit from home composting.
As the agency responsible for implementing the Integrated Solid Waste Management Programme (ISWMP), the SWPU is moving swiftly to educate the population about recycling and where waste materials can be taken.
The SWPU has been joined by a number of companies which undertake recycling. Most of these, entrepreneurial ventures, have committed themselves to work with the Project Unit, in not only managing the solid waste on the island but also by giving visibility to the efforts at reducing, reusing, recycling.
Persons interested in recycling materials have several businesses to choose from, depending on the items to be discarded. For instance, PET bottles can be returned to B’s Bottle Depot, at Cane Garden St. Thomas, or Eagle Hall, St. Michael. Supermarkets all over the island also accept PET plastic bottles; left over cooking oil is recycled at Native Sun NRG currently located at the Future Centre, Edghill, St. Thomas while office paper is accepted at Ace Recycling, Massiah Street. St. John. In relation to organic waste, this can be composted.
While Tropical Batteries, located at Fontabelle, and B’s Bottle Depot are known for collecting automotive batteries, automotive oil is usually recycled at Machinery and Allied Engineering Services, Deighton Road, St. Michael.
Non ferrous metals are recycled at Recycling Preparation Inc. at Warrens Industrial Park; while ferrous metals are accepted at B’s Bottle Depot.
The Project Unit, in association with the Barbados Agriculture Development and Marketing Corporation, Ministry of Agriculture and the Sanitation Service Authority, is also hosting a number of home composting workshops to equip persons with the required knowledge to turn their organic waste into a useful product. These were started in May of this year.
The list of recyclers/waste brokers can be obtained from the Solid Waste Project Unit by calling 427-5910/11 or accessing the web address www.solid.gov.bb.