New recycling venture could rival Cahill

Businessman Anderson “Fat Child” Cherry today announced a new multi-million dollar venture to promote recycling in a bid to revolutionize the management of solid waste on the island. And while he would not be drawn into a comparison with the controversial Cahill Energy waste-to-energy plant earmarked for Vaucluse, St Thomas, Cherry said his planned project was “a workable solution” to the country’s waste problem, and one that was in the country’s best interest.

At a news conference, he called on Government to lend support by introducing legislation to make recycling mandatory on the island.

Cherry, the chief executive officer of José y José Liquid and Solid Waste Management Inc told reporters the venture, to be undertaken by Project Recycle Ltd, would be rolled out in three phases. It had the potential to reduce what Government was currently spending on handling waste, he added, thereby generating savings that could go towards supporting expenditure on education and health care. He also said it would ease the pressure off the Mangrove Landfill.

Anderson Cherry.

The project involves composing, separating and recycling. Phase one involves an estimated $1.3 million, $9 million will be spent on phase two, and more than $50 million on phase three. An initial set of five collection trucks have already been acquired, and more are to be purchased to bring the total to 15 by phase three.

Cherry said Government concessions for the purchase of trucks and equipment would be welcome.  He said he had submitted a proposal to Government about the new approach which will incorporate proven waste management strategies, and was awaiting a response.

“As much donation we get from people and from Government will assist with this whole project. It cannot survive without the people of Barbados and Government and other corporate entities,” Cherry said of the venture which will provide employment for over 115 persons and should be in place for the island’s 50th anniversary of Independence next year.

Asked whether the recycling venture would clash, in any way, with the Cahill Energy project, Cherry said based on what he understood from comments made by a Government Minister, “Cahill is not a
done deal.”

“I am not in a position to speak how far it is or what is going on with it but I do have a workable solution that I think is in the interest of the country and in the interest of the people of the country,” he said.

Explaining how the venture will work, Cherry said in phase one, households would be required to separate food waste and recyclables and place them in two different plastic bags. He said the items would be collected from households, taken to a recycling facility and separated, with the recyclables being shipped out of the country regularly, according to the volume collected.

Cherry said aggressive marketing of the project would soon get underway, especially in earmarked communities. There will be a sign-up and give-back programme where householders can sign up for packages
at a cost.

“How the packages are designed, it is not an extra cost to people. For instance, if you donate $399, you get $452 in givebacks. All of these givebacks is a part of saving (for) the consumer, not an expense,” said Cherry, explaining that persons who sign up and need their grease traps cleaned, for example, could obtain the service in return. “We have actually supplemented that cost,” he explained.

Cherry said the venture would also ease the load off the state-owned Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) which in recent times has had difficulty providing an efficient service to the approximately 88 000 Barbadian households it serves.

“One of our marketing strategies is that we will be picking up the waste the day before Sanitation comes. However, who doesn’t feel like recycling would put it there for Sanitation,” Cherry said. “Also, stuff that we can’t collect, like hazardous waste and stuff, Sanitation will continue to collect that.”

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