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Watson all for waste-to-energy

Independent Senator John Watson has come out in support of a waste-to-energy plasma gasification plant in Vaucluse, St Thomas.

Watson gave his backing to the controversial project today while speaking in the Senate on the Sanitation Service Authority (Amendment) Bill, 2016.

He said he had some concerns about the proposed Cahill project, including the cost and its size.

However, the Independent Senator said there were benefits to establishing such a plant here.

“I see nothing wrong with the plasma gasification plant as a method of converting waste-to-energy. I looked at it and I have seen nothing wrong with it,” he told the Upper Chamber.

“What I said before [and] I still stand by is that it is an expensive method of creating energy at very high cost and it also requires a substantial level of maintenance. For that reason I have some concerns about it. But the process itself I see nothing wrong with it.

“In terms of the plant in Barbados that is being talked about, and if some of those things are true, then the plant that is being proposed for Barbados to my mind might be too big. In order to run the plant we may have to bring in waste.”

Watson emphasized that if plasma gasification was the route Barbados had to take, policymakers needed to ensure that the size of the plant suited the country’s needs and that there would be no need to import garbage or to use agricultural land to produce fuel for that plant.

He lamented the narrow focus of both Government and Opposition parliamentarians on the issue of waste disposal, complaining that those on the governing side tended to address the issue of financial waste at Greenland, while those in Opposition tended to speak about the Cahill project.

“To my mind that is their politics. My position here as an Independent Senator is to give a view that I think is rational and reasonable for the better development of the country,” Watson explained. 

3 Responses to Watson all for waste-to-energy

  1. Leroy February 25, 2016 at 7:27 am

    What do you support? Waste to energy in general or that Barbados should adopt waste to energy?

    Sir as a senator the people needs to hear from your insight as the proposals not just that u support WTE, any person can say Ye or naw for WTE, what I want to hear is from your great vantage point and based on the facts is WTE the way for bds to go or would you nudge your peers and fellow politicians to install a comprehensive recycling canpainge or would that take away rubbish to burn in WTE?

  2. Sunshine Sunny Shine February 25, 2016 at 10:22 am

    You proffer two points: support and cost concerns. You have not provided a view. You just said you looked at it and you see nothing wrong with it so let us use it. Waste to Energy might offer Barbados an opportunity for an alternative source of energy, but it must not be done under the auspices of a Democratic Labour Party’s controversial handling of its genesis. Dennis Low Lowe, who is one of the four ministers that signed off on this project, as well as the Prime Minister of Barbados, are not exactly servants high on the transparency and integrity radars. They are ministers of controversy and secrecy – two of the ingredients that make for a good thing becoming a highly suspicious thing as perfected by the politics of this administration

  3. Big Brown February 27, 2016 at 10:20 pm

    As a so called Independent Senator Mr. Watson you need to ask many more questions about this particular WTE plant proposed by Cahill. There are definitely dangers associated with the disposal of toxic by-products from gasification. That which is being proposed is the first plant of its size anywhere in the world. Smaller plants have failed for unreliability in terms of their operations and financial viabililiy. Since the proponents of the plant have already indicated that it is for sale and they themselves have no track record in building or operating a plant of this type, what assurances will we have that any purchaser has the expertise to safely operate a plant of this type. What regulations and oversight will be introduced to ensure safe operation.

    These are real concerns since the plant is situated upwind of the platinum belt. And then there is the secrecy that has surrounded the project.

    If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck then it is a duck. Bajans are not only right to be wary of this new and largely unproven technology, but well within their rights to have their questions answered.

    You have disappointed me Senator Watson by towing the Party line.


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