Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 22nd 2015 Contents A10
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The average person in T&T generates approx-
imately four pounds of garbage waste daily, each
Port-of-Spain inhabitant generates 1.54 kg of
garbage daily and every month in T&T, 50 million
plastic bottles and one million glass bottles are
dumped, according to Solid Waste statistics, Envi-
ronment Minister Ganga Singh has said.
He spoke on Tuesday in Parliament, piloting a
bill for the establishment of a waste recycling man-
agement authority and a resource recovery fund to
facilitate the efficient co-ordination for the imple-
mentation of a waste-recycling system that would
protect human health and the environment.
Singh said: "A phenomenal growth in waste pro-
duction in T&T, brought about by our increasing
standard of living, has unfortunately not been mir-
rored in the advancement in waste management.
"There exists no segregation of garbage, very
little reuse and recycling of waste, limited landfill
capacities, weak legislative and management sys-
tems, high costs and a lack of education of the
general public relating to alternative waste man-
agement such as recycling."
He said: "The solution to waste management
issues must be initiated now.
"A system of waste management that incorporates
the principles of the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle
"It looks at the aspect of waste diversion with
different waste types and processes required for
special collection, transportation and final disposal
"Statistics for waste generation in T&T are alarm-
ing. The generation rate of garbage for the city of
Port-of-Spain is 1.54 kg per inhabitant per day.
"Every month we dump 50 million plastic bottles
and one million glass bottles. That is 600 million
plastic bottles and 12 million glass bottles each
"The average person generates approximately
four pounds or 2.2 kilogrammes of waste a day
which amounts to 1,548 tonnes of waste reaching
waste-disposal sites a day.
"Well over 80 per cent of residential
waste is recyclable and the residential
stream represents two-thirds of overall
waste generated in T&T."
He said to prevent the problem assum-
ing crisis proportions later, T&T needed
to prolong the lifespans of landfills.
One way of doing this is by reducing,
via recycling, the amount of waste reaching
He said landfills receive grass cuttings,
food waste, plastic containers, old
microwaves, car batteries and even haz-
ardous waste, since there is no segregation
of waste in households.
"People s dump includes batteries, flu-
orescent lights, needles, cellphones, radios,
computers and television sets via municipal
waste-disposal systems, completely
unaware they contain hazardous substances
like toxic mercury, cadmium, nickel, arsenic
"I had initial discussions with the Min-
ister of Science/Technology on a specific
programme regarding electronic (e)-waste,
similar to dealing with beverage contain-
"Discarded tyres, particularly, present
environmental and public health risks.
Tyres routinely end up in rivers contribut-
ing to flooding."
He said tyres in landfills did not dete-
riorate and provided breeding grounds for
mosquitoes and rodents. Burning for the
recovery of copper wire exacerbated fires,
plus caused harmful emissions.
He said: "It s critical an immediate
short-term solution be determined for the
environmentally-sound disposal of waste
"Within this week, I ll present for Cab-
inet s consideration a proposed solution
on the use of waste tyres in road-paving
and use in the manufacture of rubberised
He said the Environmental Management
Authority (EMA) would soon initiate the
Recyclable Solid Waste Collection Project
to prepare T&T for the passage of the EMA
Solid Waste Rules and this waste recycling
The project establishes drop-off collec-
tion sites and depots for sorting.
Tyres and e-waste from the public will
be collected. Primary and secondary
schools will also be engaged in the col-
Through stakeholder consultation, the
Government has also been able to develop
the Beverage Container Regulations being
subsequently laid in the Parliament.
Groups will meet with the Government
today to further enhance the bill.
Weak legislation in place
Environment Minister on waste recycling:
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