Waste to energy still alive – Lowe

The Cahill project might be a thing of the past, but the Freundel Stuart administration has not abandoned the idea of a waste to energy plant on the island.

In fact, Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe today warned that Barbados “cannot fully develop without the inclusion of waste to energy technology”, as he piloted a resolution on the Barbados Green Economy Scoping Study at Parliament.

Lamenting that Barbados had become “ a throw-away society”, he sounded a warning that if citizens continued their current consumption patterns the island would soon reach a point where there would be no physical landscape to accommodate its waste.

“We are consuming behind our capacity to manage the waste that we are producing,” Lowe said, insisting that a waste to energy plant was the best alternative to address the challenge “because we do not have the land space for landfills, but not only that landfills produce the majority of green-house gases”.

Back in May, Government bowed to public pressure and abandoned the proposed $700 million Cahill waste to energy project which was to be based at Vaucluse, St Thomas.

Lowe had explained back then that the project was halted after events in London and other places revealed that waste-to-energy operations and plasma gasification projects had significant flaws.

Today, Lowe, seemingly still stung by the bitter opposition to the project, said: “When we started to talk about waste to energy there were those who sounded forth the nuggets of nothingness on the issue of waste to energy.”

However, he made it clear that Government recognized it must have the best technological advantage and best designs in this regard, and hinted that once this was achieved a waste to energy plant could still be on the cards.

“Suffice it to say that once the Government accelerates along the continuum of its rules and regulations, the provision of a waste to energy plant at Vaucluse . . . that is the only way,” he said urging those with “a viable waste to energy idea” that they can fund to approach the Government.

Lowe made it clear that the Government would not go the route of developing any more landfills, describing the Greenland landfill as a disaster.

“We threw over a $100 million in there [Greenland landfill]. It is a useless place for the purpose which the last administration wanted.

“And I know also the entanglement of that Greenland project and the SBRC [Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre],” Lowe claimed as he lashed out at the Williams Industries-owned waste processing plant established in early 2008 to receive and process the waste previously being received at the Mangrove landfill.

“A $30 million millstone around the neck of the Government and every time it raises its ugly head you have people trying to blame the Government for that fiasco,” Lowe said.

The minister stressed that Barbados had to take control of its waste problem and made it clear that citizens must take responsibility for the accumulation of waste on the island.

He suggested that a large amount of the waste was being generated by businesses, and proposed that they should foot the bill for the collection of their garbage.

“Do you know that a large amount of waste collected free of cost around this county is generated by business houses – restaurants – they put out enormous bags of garbage and sometimes when you collect garbage from a business house you hardly have room for household garbage.

“I am of the view that business houses who are making money should be asked to pay something for the collection of their waste. It is not Government’s position yet, but I hope to campaign [for] it,” Lowe said.

He stressed that it was not fair for the public to expect Government to chase down their garbage and called on the private sector, civil society and the church to partner with the Sanitation Service Authority and the Solid Waste Management Unit to encourage Barbadians to engage in recycling and other good waste management practices. 

6 Responses to Waste to energy still alive – Lowe

  1. jrsmith October 26, 2016 at 5:45 am

    A proper government speaks as a government , oh the confusion , the double dealings the promises thats why we need lots of the government be privatize ,or else nothing is going to get better or done, bajans will always be seeing the politicians with they ulterior motives as to why things might be done and in who’s interest….

  2. Thomas Browne October 26, 2016 at 6:33 am

    Government(s) should be leading on this not blaming the citizens and businesses of the country. This did not suddenly happen and its a challenge that every country and governement around the world has to tackle. Stop the wining and playing politics, explore the options properly for the long term future of the country, make some realistic proposals, engage ALL stakeholders and move towards making the necessary changes. If you do not have the answers then humble yourselves and seek help form others who have been through similar challenges and now have sucessful outcomes. The level of incompetance and lack of leadership in so many areas is truely shocking. Whoever hopes to lead Barbados sucessfully into the future needs to quickly change the prevailing behaviors and attitudes which are just sending us around in circles.

  3. David October 26, 2016 at 6:55 am

    What was the extra 40% on our land tax bills if not to pay for management of our waste? That’s a lot of money that we have to find to pay! To accuse businesses of not paying is a lie. All this onerous taxation is killing us, while you laugh and fritter away our future, calling our legitimate protests nuggets of nothingness. Disrespectful and repulsive to our collective ears.

    To solicit private approaches for WTE to oneself looks very much like an admission of what was done before, and it is making us hate you all the more as we see how unrepentant for getting the country into this mess.

    We advocated recycling, to turn garbage into salable resource, and to solve the waste problem. You turned our gold nuggets of advice into the country’s nightmare, mocked us, and with your friends placed exorbitant contractual millstones around our necks.

    You have killed Barbados

    Transparency and honest governance now!!!

  4. Ann Thomas October 26, 2016 at 1:33 pm

    Barbados cannot fully develop with the DLP at the helm and the evidence is clear. A minister brings a report that is now two years old to Parliament and wastes four and a half hours regurgitating what is in the report – that is a perfect example of waste to energy and wasted energy.

  5. Tony Webster October 27, 2016 at 3:23 am

    This man is nothing short of a phenomenon….a national, embarrassing one. Fortunately, the Good Book assures us that such things…will pass….like “use-by” dates. Forgive me Sir, but whatever you might say “going forward”… I pass too. You are already history, or more accurately, a historical footnote, which most citizens and taxpayers….will strive mightily to forget.

  6. aaaa November 1, 2016 at 12:01 pm

    WOW – you Barbados residents must LOVE your trash! What are you going to do when you reach capacity? Export it to someplace else?

    The plasma gasification plant would not only ‘burn up’ all of the trash, it would reclaim land that was used as the dumping ground


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