There is a lot that can be said about Barbadians and the way we manage garbage disposal. The observation is true at the household and country level. In many developed countries garbage is treated as a raw material to convert to energy and in the process contribute to protecting the environment. Prime Minister Mia Mottley has become a spokesperson since being elected to office in 2018 on environmental issues in the international arena, it is therefore ironic that in the country she leads, we continue to oversee a primitive garbage collection AND waste disposal system.
A peeve of the blogmaster is to be subjected to the perennial call from public relations persons employed by the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) – Alf Padmore is the incumbent – asking Barbadians to desist from including green waste in garbage to be collected by the SSA. Nobody ever heeds the calls, including SSA workers, who are always willing to please the many households served. The increase in built-up neighbourhoods in Barbados and concomitant lifestyle guarantee that green waste will be ‘trashed’. Isn’t a manicured lawn integral to the look and feel expected of the heights and terrace?
It is not all hopeless, a positive development in recent years has been the reduction in the use of single use plastics and non eco-friendly containers. This positive development shows what is possible and must be expanded to achieve deeper penetration at the national level with a relevant waste to energy strategy the endgame.
We cannot be serious about a plan to litter our tiny Barbados landscape with 10,000 homes over five years – according to Minister of Housing Dwight Sutherland – with new hotels also to be built and adopt a business as usual approach to primary, secondary and tertiary treatment of waste on the island.
In related news: it was a few months ago Kerri Symmonds, who was the minister responsible for energy, assured Barbadians the power grid had the capacity to satisfy the integration of energy generated from renewable energy sources. A recent news report indicates key stakeholders may not be on the same page. In fact, the minister responsible Lisa Cummins has passed the buck to the Fair Trading Commission.
What is evident from the issue raised in this blog and many others is that there is a problem of crisis magnitude when it comes to planning AND execution initiatives in Barbados. A good talk will get us so far but at some point rubber must hit the road.