ABWREC scheduled to reduce operations due to lack of funds

Three months after resuming full operation at its recycling facility in Coolidge, the Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation may be forced to limit its operations again if it does not receive promised financial support from the National Solid Waste Management Authority.

In June 2015, the government said it would resume payment of a subsidy of $10,000 a month to ABWREC to assist in operating its recycling plant. But in the 18 months since that announcement, only three month’s worth of payments have been distributed, the last of which was given eight months ago, Chairman of ABWREC Mario Bento said.

“We got a bit of funding for a few months, but that has stopped,” Bento said. “And that’s what led to the plant being on reduced operation from the end of July [2016].”

The plant will have to reduce operations once more if the government does not resume distributing the promised subsidy by the end of January, Bento said.

“It’s always a juggling match. We’re recycling batteries, whenever we can get some revenue in from that; that helps to offset the cost,” Bento said. “But we’re going to be back into reduced operating mode by the end of this month.”

When their cash reserves ran out last July, ABWREC limited its recycling operations to cardboard materials, leaving other materials to pile up at the recycling plant in Coolidge as residents continued to deposit their waste. A donation by the Antigua Hotels and Tourist Association last November had allowed the plant to resume full operations until now.

More in today’s Daily Observer.

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