Talking Garbage

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.

Listen to David Ellis, host of Sagicor Early Business Source: Starcom Network

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.

31 thoughts on “Talking Garbage

  1. Rising fraud

    Stories by Marlon Madden
    Barbados and other Caribbean countries are being encouraged to explore the setting up of a court that deals with white-collar crime only, as the region continues to witness high levels of financial crimes.
    The recommendation was put forward in the recently released Global Financial Integrity (GFI) report – Financial Fraud in the Caribbean – which found that the most common types of frauds in the region include advance fee frauds, specifically lottery/ prize scams, online shopping scams, romance scams and insurance and land fraud; as well as pyramid and ponzi schemes and other general investment/securities fraud.
    The GFI put forward several recommendations to better address issues of fraud including the creation of courts to address these cases.
    “Many countries face significant delays in the judicial system. Countries should explore creating courts that only address financial crimes, such as fraud and money laundering, and staffing them with judiciary that have specialized training,” it said.
    It also proposes the enactment of legislation where missing, to ensure speedy trial.
    The GFI stated: “Many countries across the Caribbean have slow judicial processes in general, let alone for financial crime cases.
    When judicial processes are inefficient, cases can be unnecessarily dragged out over years to the point that the defendant(s) ends up being remanded in custody longer than the actual possible penalty. When the case is finally adjudicated, even if found guilty, the individual will be released with time served.”
    According to the report, advance fee frauds are based on the victim remitting funds to the fraudster, typically to cover supposed fees or taxes, in order to claim promised but nonexistent goods, services, or monies.
    “Within the larger category of advance fee frauds, many experts reported lottery and prize scams as the most common in the region,” the 56-page document said.
    “Another common fraud type found in the Caribbean is internet or online fraud, in which a good or service is sold online, payment is made, but the item is never sent . . . Romance fraud, like internet fraud, is widespread both globally and in the Caribbean,” it added.
    In addition to examining the types of frauds that affect the region, the research examined the prevalence and dynamics of those types of frauds including the impact of the COVID- 19 pandemic, the actors involved, the various methods of contact and most common methods used for moving the associated proceeds.
    The research, which was carried out earlier this year, also explored the existing policy response to frauds/scams and looked at case studies in Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Jamaica and Trinidad and Tobago. The research had input from more than 100 subject matter experts including government officials, journalists, researchers, anti-money laundering/ counter financing or terrorism (AML/CFT) specialists, financial institution staff and entrepreneurs.
    The GFI also proposes that countries work to improve the effectiveness of their awareness campaigns, noting that this should include interviews with previous victims detailing their stories to make victimization more relatable, information on the risks of acting as a money mule and social media outreach.
    “Perhaps most importantly, countries need to make these campaigns ongoing. While many countries do use public awareness campaigns to inform their citizens of fraud risks, some experts felt that the campaigns could be better targeted and needed to be more frequent,” it noted.
    Other recommendations include publicising an entire fraud case from pre-to postconviction, which it said could serve as “a good deterrent”; putting systems in place to make it easier for potential investors to verify individuals and companies registered to conduct business; the establishment of an anti-fraud taskforce; exploring the use of cybercrime laws to bolster charges against fraudsters; exploring potential policy avenues for improving responses to fraud, including international cooperation; the evaluation of current consumer protection legislation for potential improvements; exploring platforms for international cooperation and information sharing.
    The report noted that many of the experts interviewed cited “a boom” in fraud and scams in the region during the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that this surge was seen for both attempted and successful fraud.
    It noted that there were several interconnected reasons behind this including job losses and people becoming “desperate for any type of income” and therefore more prone to “get rich quick” schemes or schemes that are “too good to be true”.
    “Additionally, people were spending more time online, which is one of the primary methods of connection between victim and fraudster,” it added.
    The research found that depending on the type of fraud, fraudsters were using a number of channels to get to their victims, including telephone, social media platforms and emails.
    They may start on one platform but move to another that the fraudster considers to be more secure or personal, according to the findings.
    It also indicated that the proceeds of fraud and scams were being moved through a variety of channels depending on several variables including who is sending the funds (victim or scammer), the type of fraud and the jurisdictions involved. The payment method often includes cash, bank transfers or online payments.
    “An important aspect to keep in mind is that fraudsters will use any means available to receive and/or send payment, and will switch to an alternative channel if attempts are blocked,” the report noted.
    While respondents said they believed there were several effective responses to the fight against scams and fraud in the region, they also noted that there were several that were not working.
    According to those interviewed, legislation, international cooperation, investigation, domestic cooperation, education campaigns, detection and convictions were yielding some results.
    However, some respondents also identified legislation, detection, investigation and education campaigns as areas of weakness.
    Other weaknesses identified were the judicial process, prosecution, asset recovery, staffing, and the issue of de-risking.
    The report noted that “One of the most frequently identified areas where countries are failing is at prevention. Regionally, experts felt that penalties for fraud were quite weak.”

    Source: Barbados Today

  2. Allow me to add one thought.

    One of the items that always catches my attention is the way some folks interact with the sanitation workers – particulary some businessmen.

    If you disrespect workers when they are on the job and present, it is very likely that the ‘disrespect’ will continue when they are not present and calls to the public from the SSA will be ignored.

    • This is a continuation of the deeper issue highlighted. If there was a policy to manage waste from pickup (collection) to tertiary treatment with the requisite incentives and penalties these kinds of issues would be the exception. As it stands, anything goes. It is management of garbage gone wild.

  3. There is an online pdf version of the report. Please note that pp 2-5 gives good reading on the various types of scam. There is also a section for Barbados (pp 27-29).


    I also bounced on a 2021 document
    “Financial Crime in Latin America and the Caribbean”
    which has a section for Barbados (pp 12-15). One sentence that jumped out to me was this one “Smelters in Barbados are seen as a hub to smelt and resell gold. Barbados is a transit point for gold coming from Medellin and Bogota, Colombia.” The link with gold would have never crossed my mind.

    • SSA lagging on separation and recycling
      Public relations officer of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) Carl Padmore expressed his concern about business owners disposing of card boxes and other containers during the Christmas season.
      While he is at it, he should see another side of garbage disposal and collection, and the role that SSA can play in making Barbados a cleaner and healthier place.
      Much time has elapsed since computerised bins have been in operation. It was announced that a system of separation of garbage would be in place as part of the operation of these garbage bins. It was specifically requested that breakables, bulk waste, human and animal faeces, and such items be not deposited. Additionally, provisions were supposed
      to be in place for recyclables.
      What is the current status as far as the collection of recyclables are concerned? Barbados is becoming more and more dirty and unhealthy because there is still no properly organised and regulated national recycling programme.
      In the absence of an effective recycling programme, there will always be dumping.
      Also, heaps and piles of grass, weeds and other debris along the sides of the road is not only unsightly but hazardous.
      There was a time when the Sanitation department was responsible for the daily removal and cleaning after the weeding of grass and bush along roadways. Why is such debris allowed
      to remain overnight, often for days, to clog drains and create flooding?
      If private citizens are being warned and advised to do the right things, then good and proper examples must be set by those who should know better.
      Benjamin Franklin’s quotation “A good example is the best sermon” offers good advice.
      Taking positive action is often more effective than a long lecture. The SSA is hereby put on notice to step up to the plate and take necessary action.

      – Michael Ray

      Source: Letter to the Nation

    • Thank David, yes my daughter is doing well, wishing you and your family all the best for 2023,God Bless

    • Sorry David I wonder who is Damebajan, maybe from our days on the Nation chat, Damebajan I have a son also, and 3 grand children smile

    • @Hants

      The conscientious among us will freeze it and anticipate pick up on scheduled day which may not occur. You know we have many who are not conscientious.

  4. @ David,

    In Toronto we are required to put ” fish guts” and peelings etc,in a plastic bag and then in the lockable Green bin. Collected weekly

    The Blue bin is for recyclabel materials ( boxes bottles ) Collected bi-weekly

    The Grey bin is for other waste.Collected bi-weekly.

  5. @Hants, in Ottawa the black box is for paper and cardboard. The blue is for cans, jars and recyclable plastics and styrofoam. I compost in the summer, fall and spring, and my fish guts, bones, etc., I drop in my neighbours green bin. hahaha.

  6. Dear David, 99.9% of of the worlds problems are caused by self serving politicians and their self serving yard-fowls who operate as renegade operatives sometimes unknown to their political masters. For every problem that evolves or is deliberately created, an opportunity emerges for some politically connected persons to make money in providing solutions.

    In 2022 we are still burying tires despite many options exist for using old tires within a circular economy. If in doubt ask Paul Bynoe of B’s Recycling about his 8 year old tire shredder the DBLP refuse to engage him on.

    The Future Centre Trust of which I am a director have advocated on #Grasscycling and #Upcycling as it relates to household green waste, but in Barbados action is very often only taken when some PEP can make money from proffered ideas

  7. Imagine Baroness Mone as a UK Minister ripped off the poor #medpro so many made a killing from the hysteria surrounding the deadly Covid 19. I guess many will make millions if the Chinese decide to avoid the USA and other countries demanding Negative PCR test, while advanced Barbados does not require a negative PCR test

  8. Hants,

    The recycling blue bins are not yet being utilised by the SSA.

    There has been a recent attempt by a private enterprise to collect at Emerald City and elsewhere.

  9. Kammie said…
    Dear David, 99.9% of of the worlds problems are caused by self serving politicians and their self serving yard-fowls who operate as renegade operatives sometimes unknown to their political masters.
    …although 99.99% may be more accurate.

    If we had the balls to address issues from this KNOWN perspective, and to call names, and to pursue the culprits, then the RESULTS would be impressive.

    Unfortunately, most of us just envy the ‘self serving yard fowls and renegade operatives’ and hope for our own turn at the nipples.
    …which is why we go easy on them.

    • Dame Bajan, now I know who you are? you are bajan you add Dame to your name, you are in Ottawa, what happen to the group who used to be in that is your son,?l

  10. A team of Politicians is akin to rounding up and selecting a Cricket team from the best available players in the land, who are not up to par when playing other teams

      A team of politicians is a collection those who have been shown to be incapable of making a decent living in normal jobs, but who dream of being legends in their own mind.
      What best available players what!?!

      You mussy mean..
      …the only available shiitehounds who are willing to undergo the self-depreciating, vote-begging and lying process that is currently mandated by the idiotic system that the albinocentrics have bequeathed us…

  11. “If we had the balls to address issues from this KNOWN perspective, and to call names, and to pursue the culprits, then the RESULTS would be impressive.”

    This is in line with what I was thinking. Now I post here anonymously, though I have no reason to do so. The truth is with my immediately family over here and with my long stay in the US, it does not matter if I post anonymously or not.

    But there comes a time when you have to make yourself known.

    Here is an excerpt from the story “Pelican village craftspeople not benefitting from cruise arrivals..

    “While requesting anonymity for various reasons, owners and operators of businesses in Pelican Village said they have been suffering for far too …”

    “Some complained that tourists leaving Bridgetown Port were bypassing the craft center on their way …”

    Somebody has to take a bullet; someone has to raise their head above the parapet, Figure out how you are going to support the sacrificial lambs and let a few of you step forward.

    If what is being claimed is the truth, then someone has to add his/her name to the cause. Here I am, a supporter, and I have doubts because no one has the courage to take a stance. A ‘ minister’ reading the paper just sees nameless people who are complaining.

    • The issue is not about someone or somebody raising their heads above the parapet. It is about many raising their heads above the parapet with a coordinated approach that is strategic. We have observed what happens when a few take the bullet for the many.

    • The classic example Kammie mentioned is the unexplained decision making around Paul Bynoe. Why is it his operation id not being co-opted to push the recycling and clean environment agenda? Same with Jose y Jose and a few others. We have been unable to exorcise politics from every rh thing. Even if it compromises national interests.

      The tyre shredding machine has been mentioned several times on BU blogs, the blogmaster is aware it went to the desk of Sinckler. Former bigwig and now deceased Gibbs tried and failed. His son is a BLP MP with access to power because of his inheritance. Why can’t we work together for the good of Barbados?

  12. Why can’t we work together for the good of Barbados?
    Because VERY FEW of us have any interest in ‘the good of Barbados’ – EXCEPT to the extent that it personally benefits ourselves…. and typically this is by OURSELVES then getting the opportunity to scam others.

    Kammie is right about the self serving politicians, except that, in the final analysis, 99.9% of us are brass bowl politicians in that respect.

    • @Bush Tea

      Unfortunately you are correct. The blogmaster has been observing a few of these government MPs up close as they socialize in the season. They are all the same, a pack of self serving idiots with national priorities of secondary concern.

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