Head of Trinidad and Tobago’s solid waste agency calls for more recycling

Plastic collected for recycling. Image: via Trinidad and Tobago Newsday
Solid waste

Trinidad and Tobago’s Solid Waste Management Company is working to increase the country’s waste recycling rate:

The Solid Waste Management Company (SWMCOL) processes 30 tonnes of plastic every month, which is less than one per cent of the plastic generated by the people of TT.

SWMCOL CEO Ronald Roach added that 700,000 tonnes of garbage was thrown away every year, and 70 per cent of that – paper, cardboard, tetra packs, plastic, glass, and aluminium – was recyclable.

Originally mandated with waste management and public education, in March 2007 the organisation was also directed to recycle the country’s waste. “We were already trying to see how we could encourage people to recycle but they don’t seem to have an appreciation for the amount of waste we generate.

In addition to the slogan of reduce, reuse and recycle, Roach said he would add “rethink.” He said the world’s resources were not as abundant as many think, and garbage did not just go away. Realising the shift in culture had to begin with the nation’s youths, SWMCOL started by educating children in schools about littering and recycling. They also visit malls and community events with their message; partner with the IAMovement, an NGO of young people who wanted to effect positive environmental and social change; and Green Screen, a film festival that screens films with environmental themes. “We recognise it will be a long process, especially as we don’t have the funds to produce programmes on TV and radio. Also Trinis like controversial and exciting things and waste management is none of those. That is why the recycling programmes in the regional corporations are important. People will see others doing it and want to do it too. I believe, little by little, bit by bit, we will get things done.”

Read more in the full article at the Trinidad and Tobago Newsday. 

[Image: via Trinidad and Tobago Newsday]


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