Last update: 09-Dec-2013 1:03 am
Monday, December 09, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Recycling initiative may reduce landfill waste
A community-driven recycling initiative in the Barataria area could keep as much as 40 per cent of waste out of landfills, and generate jobs in the process. Chairman of the San Juan/Laventille regional corporation Nafeesa Mohammed expects the Separate 2 Create pilot recycling project to have “a tremendous impact by reducing the volume of waste that will be taken into the Beetham landfill”.
Volunteers in the programme will visit the homes of area residents and distribute clear plastic bags to households. Volunteers will encourage households to start separating and disposing their waste by placing recyclable items—mainly plastics, glass bottles, tetra packs, cardboard and paper—in the bags, which will be collected on specific days by one of the sanitation contractors in the area.
Separate 2 Create is a collaboration between the corporation, the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business, West Indies Recycling, and Secure A Vibrant Environment (Save) and several corporate sponsors. The two-month project, which is fully sponsored, involves 4,000 residents, with First Citizens Bank initially donating 20,000 plastic bags worth $20,000.
Speaking at the project launch at MTS Plaza, Aranjuez, on Monday, Mohammed said the project “will certainly help in promoting a cleaner environment, encourage the employment of persons and also the generation of new businesses within the region.” “In the month of May, public health workers involved in cleaning several drains and watercourses in the region recovered 300 bags of plastics in the lower El Socorro area that clogged a drain preventing them from further polluting downstream.
Save CEO Stephen Harris said the project can keep as much as 40 per cent of waste from going to the landfills. A sustainable energy management student at the Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business who is involved in the project, Talya Mohammed, said the data collected could be used to form policy on waste management.
Fellow student Sherise Seecharan said the project was also to raise public knowledge and awareness of recycling and to measure the volume of waste produced by residents to find solutions to the landfill problem.
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