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EVERYTHING GREEN: Recycling is the answer

Heather-Lynn Evanson

EVERYTHING GREEN: Recycling is the answer

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EVERY DAY people on this island generate more than 1 200 tonnes of garbage.
Do the maths and imagine how much garbage is generated in a week, in a month, in a year.
Most of it, say people on the front line of the environment cause, need not head to the Mangrove Pond Landfill.
If Barbadians would jump on the recycling bandwagon, not only would they reduce some of the stress on the place once nicknamed Mount Stinkeroo, but they could also put a buck in their own pockets, while helping the island to earn foreign exchange.
According to the administrative director of the Future Centre Trust, Nicole Garofano, a 2005 study by the Solid Waste Project Unit revealed that at least 80 per cent of the waste generated daily could be recycled or composted.
Paper, card, plastic, metal and glass need not form part of the garbage that workers of the Sanitation Service Authority collect.
Garofano noted, however, that the recycling message was slowly but surely getting through.
“It is recognized that community members will do things when they are made easier,” she told the Daily Nation.
“So by bringing a recycling point closer to home or closer to their regular daily schedule, all of a sudden it becomes part of the regular routine without too much additional effort,” she said.
She noted that as a result some people had started to play a part by sorting their waste and having it collected by some of the island’s waste brokers.
“This has been expanded thanks to the Coca-Cola Foundation grant made recently to the Future Centre Trust, which is now encouraging applications from communities, including residential or school-based communities, for the development of 12 more community-based collection points for clean, recyclable materials,” Garofano explained.
Meanwhile, Kammie Holder, a director and public relations officer of the Future Centre Trust, has called for legislation to help fuel the drive to recycle.
“I think the Government needs to lead the way in terms of legislation as it relates to encouraging people to sort at source,” he said.
“The Government has to be in the forefront of the fight to change habits and it also has to start within the schools. We need to put [recycling] on the curriculum and teach the importance of sustainable living,” Holder said.
The benefits of recycling, he stressed, were many.
“We will decrease our carbon footprint and when we dump everything, we use land space as it relates to the landfill. You are also earning foreign currency because when we export this waste it brings in foreign currency,” he said.