Waste Management in Tobago

Secretary for the Division of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Claudia Groome-Duke.
Tobago will adopt a plan which ensures it remains clean, green, safe and serene.

The THA commissioned a number of studies to provide information that would help with the development of a comprehensive Integrated Solid Waste Management (ISWM) system.

The Secretary for the Division of Health and Social Services (DHSS), Claudia Groome-Duke said the series of Waste Characterization studies began in August 2010, to “establish an estimate of the quantity and quality of the municipal solid waste stream that was generated in Tobago.”

Speaking during Wednesday’s Post Executive Council briefing, she said the findings show that the villages of Scarborough and Rockley Vale generated the most waste, then Bacolet, Studley Park and Glen Morgan, followed by Buccoo, Canaan and Bethany.

The studies also found that the highest amount of wastage came from paper and paperboard waste (28%), followed by plastics (22.2%) and textiles (17.6%).

Groome-Duke said the recommendations that resulted from the study, spearheaded by Simmons and Associates Ltd., included waste minimization and recycling. “We must make that a reality,” she said.

She said her Division will also collaborate with the Division of Agriculture, Marine Affairs, Marketing and the Environment on composting, solid waste collection and disposal, and the enforcement of the Litter Prevention Act.

The Division has identified a set of approaches in response to the study, including educating the public. There will be a public education campaign “on the four Rs: reduce, reuse, recycle and recover,” Groome-Duke said.

The first study was conducted from the 13-19th September, 2010 for baseline data. The second study was conducted from 15-21st March, 2012 to capture the anticipated spike in the generation of garbage prior to the Easter period. The third study, which was conducted from 12-19th December 2012, attempted to capture information representative of waste generated during the holiday cleaning season.

Waste samples included paper and paperboard, glass, metal, textiles and plastic products.

Waste in Tobago is deposed of at the Studley Park landfill, which is the only official site. The site was developed and commissioned by the Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) in the mid-1980s and officially handed over to the Tobago House of Assembly in October 1989.

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