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?

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Garbage Disposal Dumps More Cost On Businesses

While at first this week’s column may seem to stray from the subject ‘matter’ the consequence of certain actions has a direct negative effect on our tourism performance.

As a business we get absolutely no ‘free’ state collection of garbage. We sort and separate everything we can with the wonderful assistance of B’s Recycling and almost everything else we pay private contractors to collect and dispose of at a considerable cost. Therefore when the Municipal Solid waste Tax was imposed, almost without warning, the additional (in our case) $8,000 a year in further unbudgeted taxation was especially irksome as we have been asked to pay for something we do not in any way benefit from directly.

Compounding this already unfair situation is the announced tipping fee which the waste disposal companies will be forced to pass on to their customers like us. This at a time when we are among many businesses who have been forced to wait more than two years for VAT refunds without any interest being paid. Clearly the commercial banks will not extend interest free overdrafts to companies like ours to allow for Government’s inability to meet their obligations, so the financial challenges are further compounded as time goes by.

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