I am always extremely reticent to stray away from the intended objective and topic of this column, there comes a point when every concerned resident has to speak up to help […]
protect an industry that many of us consider precious.
For almost five decades since my first visit I have thankfully enjoyed a special relationship with Canada where my brother has practiced as a rural doctor for over 40 years. I graphically recall many years ago while walking along the shores of Lake Winnipeg, the male member of a family in front of us threw am empty packet of cigarettes on the ground. Without hesitation, my long standing and now sadly deceased friend, tapped the man on the shoulder and said simply ’we don’t do that in Canada’. Despite the intimidating size of the culprit, he said nothing but stooped down and picked up the offending packet.
Then as now, I frequently ponder on what shapes a society to have common values like this? And that brings me back to my adopted country of 27 years, Barbados. There cannot be many repeat visitors that have failed to notice since the imposition of the now abandoned municipal solid waste tax and the equally ill thought-out tipping fees that have directly impacted on the increased level of indiscriminate dumping of all types of garbage. Not only have they noticed it, but it has become a regularly discussed topic of nearly every section of the various social media forums.
After witnessing the hard earned increases in long stay arrivals, surely we are not going to jeopardise the beneficial effects of this achievement by turning the island into a mountain of garbage? And if anyone thinks that this does not influence destination choice, then think long and hard again. As a business, we do not receive a single ‘free’ state collection of waste. We separate all that is feasible for us which includes newspaper, cardboard, glass, plastic and metals and the wonderful B’s Recycling people collect it without charge on a regular weekly basis.
Our garden waste is placed in a skip and we pay another company to provide the container and collect it for disposal on a regular basis. I have to admit that since the dumping fee was imposed, because of all the other operational cost increases we have been forced to try and absorb, we now extend the duration of the collection to help keep the charges down.
So what is the solution?
I have yet to speak to a single person here who agrees with the construction and operation of the proposed waste to energy plant. If this is not already overwhelming apparent to our political rulers, it will become increasingly clear of the galvanised opposition to the concept, as we creep closer to the next general election. But ultimately, we the people have to do a great deal more ourselves.
On a regular morning walk in our area, it’s apparent that residents generally have no idea which day their garbage will be collected, so they leave plastic bags out, often for days to the mercy of stray dogs, chickens, swarms of breeding flies and dare I say, rats. Among this visually offensive disarray of waste, there are bottles, cans and plastic containers that could and should be separated for profitable disposal.
We may have every justification for blaming the political directorate for many things, but in this case at the end of the day, it is largely down to us.