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Trash costing millions says economist

ALEX DOWNES, [email protected]

Trash costing millions says economist

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Barbadians’ wasteful ways are costing the country around $50 million a year.

According to a 2015 study on waste habits, Barbadians were producing a whopping 1 132 tonnes of waste per day, sending 3 48 000 tonnes of trash to the Mangrove Pond Landfill each year.

Speaking at the University of the West Indies Cave Hill campus on Wednesday, economist Professor Winston Moore explained this high level of waste production was costing the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) dearly.

“In 2016/2017 the actual expenditure of the SSA was $50.2 million. That number, through the estimates for 2017/2018, fell slightly to about $49 million.

“But for the next three years, the projections are for those estimates to go up significantly,” Moore said during the panel discussion on waste management.

This year, that figure is expected to remain around $49 million, rising to$59 million in 2019 and $61 millionin 2020.

With the SSA transporting the lion share of the waste to the MangrovePond Landfill, Moore said 64 per centof those materials were organics,14 per cent plastics and the rest of the trash split between construction materials and waste from hotels.

Breaking it down further,Moore said Barbadians were producing1.7 kilogrammes (kg)-a-day of garbage in 1994, which increased to three kg in 2002 and 3.43 kg in 2005.

“These rates are actually very comparable to what you would see in more developed countries because for example in Europe, the rates are around three kg per person,” the head of the Department of Economics said.

“So we have a developing country, with a more developed country waste problem, which is not a very good combination because we don’t have the funds to support that kind of waste generation.”

To counter this issue, Moore said other countries had moved to incentivised garbage collection by paying peopleper bags of garbage collectedper month or year.

This, however, brought its own share of problems such as the likelihood of wealthier families benefiting more due to them putting out more garbage. (AD)