We have forgotten how many tons of garbage Barbados is said to produce daily, but we know that it is a huge amount for an island the relative small size of Barbados. No doubt the tonnage of our garbage will continue to increase given our reliance on tourism, large numbers of tourists equal more garbage. The high level of garbage produced has created a migraine headache for the former government. It created so much of a headache that one of most ignorant decisions made during the Arthur administration was to locate the Greenland Landfill in the Scotland District of Barbados. We can easily go further to say that the just halted Greenland Landfill is located on the most scenic part of the island. How could anyone in good conscience locate a dump which can be surveyed from the beautiful Farley Hill Park by Barbadians and tourists alike in that spot?. The news that the new government has discontinued the Greenland Landfill project has been positively received by Barbadians even if it will cost them 50 million dollars.
Against the challenge of managing the rising garbage problem our energetic new government will have to engineer a solid waste policy in quick time. Reported in the news this week Barbadians were informed that the government will pursue a policy to use waste to generate energy. We welcome this approach which is not a novel idea and has been practiced by the developed world for many years. Garbage management is big money in the developed world. The requirement for Barbadians to separate garbage for pick-up and the retrofitting of the waste treatment system in Barbados will require significant resources from government and a behavioural change from Barbadians. We suspect that the project may require some level of privatization. It is not in our recollection that any concrete waste disposal plan was proposed when this current government was in opposition. We are optimistic that Prime Minister Thompson having made the bold decision to discontinue the construction of Greenland is aware of the void which remains regarding a waste disposal solution for Barbados.
One of our many BU subscribers sent us an article which highlighted the successful manufacturing of biodegradable plastic bags. We believe that the government of Barbados can signal to the whole country that it is serious about the environment by examining a way to partner with the private sector to introduce biodegradable plastic bags to Barbados. It will require some flexible thought because the bio-bags are somewhat more expensive than the normal plastic bag which is so environmentally harmful. We take note that the Cayman Islands, in many ways very similar to Barbados has fired up a pilot project to go ‘green’.
Imagine a shopping bag that looks and feels like a traditional plastic bag that could safely decompose in soil within a month, instead of piling up in garbage dumps and choking lakes and oceans for hundreds of years? snip The reality is, trying to clean up the environment often costs money and usually causes inconvenience for some. There’s no getting around that. But unless we want to continue dumping billions of petroleum-based polyethylene bags into our soil, lakes and oceans every year, we’ve got to get rid of them. Compostable shopping bags seem like a pretty good alternative.
Source: News Winnipeg Sun
Waste disposal is an issue which has been swept under the carpet by successive governments. The two parties when in government over the years have been happy to dig a hole in the ground and dump from paper to computers into it. The time has come for our government to show leadership on the issue of waste disposal.