Sunday 26 May, 2019

Government seeking to reduce SBRC bill

Government is actively renegotiating the terms of its contract with the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre Inc. (SBRC) in hopes of lowering its $2 million per month bill. 

Prior to the rollout of government's restructuring program, over $20 million was owed by government to the SBRC-which was disclosed by Sanitation Service Authority officials during the Appropriation Bill and Estimates 2019 in the House of Assembly today.   

Minister of the Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod said the negotiation process is expected to reduce the monthly payment to SBRC by about 50 per cent.  

“We were paying $2 million monthly to SBRC and according to preliminary information, I believe we should find ourselves way below $1 million a month. It was more than unreasonable for us to be paying that amount monthly.” 

In order to lighten the load of waste dumped at the landfill, Prescod said the Ministry intends to implement a policy of garbage separation, in line with the ban on single-use plastics to take effect on April 1.  

To date more than 70 percent of waste has been diverted away from the landfill by the SBRC and other private recyclers.  

Minister Prescod said the major challenge with implementing a garbage separation policy is retrofitting garbage collection trucks with the necessary equipment.  

“If we are going to be talking about the separation of garbage at source and imposing legislation ... each household should have at least two bins in front of their residence so we can separate the garbage.  

But we cannot send a truck to collect that garbage with one cylinder and then we have to put three types of waste in the same place.” 

He said the legislation would need strict penalties to ensure the public adheres and so bring Barbados in line with proper disposal practices.  

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