Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : August 15th 2015 Contents A11
Saturday, August 15, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
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The Tobago House of Assembly
(THA) has made a significant dent in
the masses of seaweed in Speyside as
clean-up efforts continue in the area.
Director in the THA s Department
of Natural Resources and the Environ-
ment Linford Beckles said an estimated
6,000 cubic feet of the seaweed had
been removed so far to nearby disposal
sites at Murchiston and the Laow
Estate. This represents 65 to 70 per
cent of the seaweed in the area, accord-
ing to Beckles.
"The clean-up at the Lucyvale area
in Speyside is substantially completed;
I d probably say 85-90 per cent com-
plete," Beckles said, yesterday. "Primarily
what is happening there now is minor
landscaping to the backshore of the
beach using rakes and that kind of
thing. In the upper part of that bay,
closer to Gemma s (Treehouse Restau-
rant) we still have a bit of work to do
Beckles said the THA had devoted an
initial $3 million for the Speyside clean-
up, but clearing the bulk of seaweed
from both the beach and within coastal
waters had been challenging, due to the
limited availability of equipment.
The assembly is also conducting air
and water quality tests in the area,
which should be completed by Mon-
The results of those tests should be
available by Wednesday. The water test-
ing will determine how safe the beaches
are for recreational activity.
It costs the Government $321
million per year to manage this
country s waste collection and
According to Environment and
Water Resources Minister Ganga
Singh this figure included trans-
portation and waste collection
costs, waste disposal costs, and
administrative and environmental
Declaring that the waste gen-
eration statistics of this country
was alarming, Singh said the Solid
Waste Management Company Ltd
(SWMCOL) had indicated that the
average lifespan of a landfill was
However, most of the waste dis-
posal landfill sites in T&T have
been operating since the 1960s.
Delivering the feature address
at the launch of the National Recy-
cling Week, an initiative by the
Authority (EMA), at the Hyatt
Regency yesterday, Singh said the
average person generated approx-
imately four pounds of waste per
day, which amounted to more than
1,548 tonnes of waste reaching
waste disposal sites per day.
Reflecting on his personal
attempts to assist in extinguishing
fires at the Beetham Landfill earlier
this year, Singh said, "I can tell
Tobago seaweed clean-up
close to 70 per cent complete
you that there is a whole economy there
and a whole different environment on
those landfill sites."
Attributing the phenomenal growth
in waste production to an increased
standard of living which had not been
supported by advancements in waste
management, Singh said there was no
segregation of garbage and very little
reuse and recycling of waste general-
ly.Coupled with limited landfill capac-
ities, weak legislative and management
systems, rising costs and a lack of edu-
cation on alternative waste manage-
ment, the minister said, people con-
tinued to indiscriminately discard grass
cuttings, food, plastic containers, glass
bottles, old car parts, discarded furniture
and appliances, without any thought
of the environmental impact.
Claiming that the Government had
explored options to reduce this financial
burden, Singh said they were partnering
with the EMA in the hopes that "a fully
developed recycling and materials
recovery sector would bring in addi-
tional revenues from the sale of recy-
clables and reduced waste for handling
and disposal and lower operational costs
at the landfill."
Launching the iCARE (Community,
Awareness, Recycle, Everyday) project,
EMA s chairman Dr Allan Bachan said
it would encompass the disposal of
solid waste including tyres and elec-
The primary objective of iCARE is
to prepare the country for the passage
of the EMA s Solid Waste Rules, which
will guide the establishment of appro-
priate infrastructure and management
iCARE seeks to encourage the public
to sort and collect recyclable solid waste
from their homes, businesses and com-
munities and drop them off at desig-
nated collection sites, in a bid to reduce
the amount of waste being sent to over-
Bachan explained that the materials
would then be taken to depots located
nationwide for further sorting and
weighing before deployment to recycling
Schools are also expected to partic-
ipate in the initiative later on.
The National Week of Recycling will
officially run from August 14 to 22,
with iCARE expected to continue for
a period of six months.
Green transparent garbage bags will
be placed at various sites throughout
the country, starting today (Sat) and
members of the public are urged to use
them to sort their waste including plas-
tic, glass, aluminium, milk and juice
cartons, and small electronics.
On August 22 and 23, there will be
a residential curbside collection of these
The private sector is also encouraged
to participate in the venture and, as an
added incentive, will receive an envi-
ronmental seal and certification.
Minister: $321m to manage waste disposal
Cepep chairman Adesh Deonarine, left, and Environment and Water Resources Minister Ganga Singh, centre,
inspect a biodegradable garbage bag following the launch of the National Recycling Week, at the Hyatt Regency
Hotel, Port-of-Spain, yesterday. Looking on is EMA chairman Dr Allan Bachan. PHOTO: NICOLE DRAYTON
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