Waste brokering is an essential part of solid waste management, particularly for a small country like Barbados.
This was made clear by Assistant Manager, Engineering, in charge of disposal sites at the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), Leona Deane, who said that Barbados was “too small to landfill every single thing”.
She made this assertion on Friday, during a tour to deliver a progress report on work to remove waste in excess of 70-feet high at B’s Recycling Plant in St. Thomas.
She was accompanied by Minister of Home Affairs, Information and Public Affairs, Wilfred Abrahams; Chief Fire Officer, Errol Maynard, other officials and members of the media.
“You would be amazed at the amount of fridges …. We get 500 beds per month. We get hundreds of fridges a month, hundreds of TVs. We continue to dispose and bury these things [but] it is not sustainable. We are too small and cannot continue to do it,” she stated.
However, Ms. Deane pointed out that waste brokering was a way to assist by trying to ship some of the things off island to jurisdictions with access to industrialisation and steel melting, so the waste could be recycled.
“Waste brokering is essential. All kinds of avenues for the reduction of waste going into the landfill, whether it be waste brokering from recycling, composting, digestion, whatever it is that can remove items from being landfilled and dumped is welcomed, but you have to do it in a way that is legal, it provides accessibility, it is environmentally conscious,” Ms. Deane outlined.
She explained that the SSA did not have possession of the metal disposal site since 2012, resulting in a crisis with metal disposal in Barbados.
It was a situation, she said, that also resulted in people dumping metal at the landfill and other areas across the country.
“You would be amazed at the amount of fridges…. We get 500 beds per month. We get hundreds of fridges a month, hundreds of TVs. We continue to dispose and bury these things [but] it is not sustainable. We are too small and cannot continue to do it.”Sanitation Service Authority’s, Leona Deane
However, she noted that the operator of B’s Recycling Plant, Paul Bynoe, started to collect the metal with the anticipation that he would be able to shred it and do something else. “But unfortunately, that has not worked out as yet,” Ms. Deane lamented.
At the same time, she gave residents living near the Bagatelle Metal Disposal Facility the assurance that there was presently enough space at the facility to accommodate the metal waste from B’s Recycling Plant.
She explained that the SSA returned there two years ago and there was presently a large quarry with a large new cell that was available for filling.
Ms. Deane said that even though the quarry was now getting waste 10 to 20 fold what it would normally receive monthly, a large tractor was on site to compact and bury the waste.
“The material has already been…crushed up. Once it is laid out in a layer, it does not take up that much space,” she said.
“I want the residents in the surrounding areas not to be concerned because we are covering and compacting. Normally, when we are done it looks like a football field. This is something that has been happening for the last 40 years, so this is something that we are used to,” she stated.