Antigua and Barbados seek joint effort at waste management

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A representative from a regional waste recycling plant visited the Antigua & Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation (ABWREC) and Will’s Recycling Limited yesterday to look at ways to offer possible assistance.
Lloyd Cox, who met with the Operations Manager of ABWREC, Devon Ferris, and Hasani Williamson of the scrap yard outside Cooks Landfill, on behalf of B’s Recycling in Barbados, toured the facilities to look at the challenges hindering recycling efforts in Antigua. He is hoping that a collective regional approach would be made to reduce the amount of waste going to the Cooks Landfill.
“Paul Bynoe of B’s Recycling has many ideas he thinks can help the recycling plants in our neighbouring countries. The consensus is that governments are not helping because there are no financial benefits to them, but we need to protect the environment and that may require governments to put profit margins aside for the betterment of our habitat,” Cox said.
ABWREC recycles plastic bottles, aluminum cans, lead acid batteries, cardboard, and ferrous and non-ferrous (magnet and non-magnetic) scrap metal.
Will’s Recycling Limited recycles scrap metal on a larger scale and vehicle batteries.
Ferris said the main challenge of ABWREC is operational costs.
“International market for oil is low, so the return we would get on plastic bottles is low and adding to that the international freight has increased 50 per cent in the last six months adding to the problem,” Ferris said.
The operations manager said 20 metric tonnes of plastic is already packed in a 40-ft container but ABWREC cannot afford to ship the waste since they would have to pay the Asian company to collect the recyclables,
based on the current market rates.
The Coolidge-based waste recycling plant has struggled with financial issues for more than four years. Last year the plant was closed in July, August and September.
Ferris said ABWREC is still working with the Ministry of Health to look at ways to get subsidies.

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