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Lack of funds hinder recycling


Lack of funds hinder recycling

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The University of the West Indies’ (UWI) financial woes in Barbados have spilled over into its waste recycling efforts.

That’s the finding of a new study, which concluded that “the major waste management challenge affecting the UWI and Barbados as a whole was limited financial resources”. The study was conducted between April 30 and December 30, 2013.

The study titled Strategies For Improving Recyling At A Higher Education Institution: A Case Study Of The University Of The West Indies, Cave Hill Campus, Barbados was conducted by Jamar Bailey and Maria Pena of the Centre for Resource Management and Environmental Studies at UWI, Cave Hill campus, and Terry Tudor of the School of Science and Technology of the University of Northampton in England.

They reported that Cave Hill recycled on a larger scale than UWI’s other campuses in Trinidad and Jamaica, and that the recycling initiative launched here on April 8, 2009 “aimed to encourage the university’s staff and students to recycle…glass, aluminium…plastic, as well as paper and printer cartridges”.

This was facilitated by the establishment of 18 recycling stations for plastics, glass and aluminium cans, which were located around the campus in areas which are “highly used such as major teaching areas and recreational areas, in addition to 21 departmental offices/faculties/schools”.

Plastics, glass and aluminium recyclables were collected by Cave Hill’s Properties and Facilities Department and sold on to a private recycling company. Individual departments handled the recycling of paper and printer cartridges by directly contacting private companies.

The study found that despite some successes, “the initiative was encountered various challenges, for example, contaminants, particularly food scraps, being placed in the recycling bins, which created health hazards and difficulties with collection by the private contractor and reduced earnings for the university”.

“The results suggest that the key challenge facing sustainable waste management at the university and the country in general was limited financial resources. Key motivators for recycling at the UWI were its benefits to keeping the campus clean and the generation of funds. The major barriers were a lack of motivation, high bing contamination and a lack of knowledge regarding the recycling initiative,” the study concluded. (SC)