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The National Conservation Commission’s national clean-up programme received additional manpower today when 360 persons signed contracts to be a part of the programme.

Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, disclosed this while speaking at the Bridgetown Port, during the arrival of 10 new garbage trucks. 

He said: “The NCC will be employing 360 workers on a national clean-up programme across Barbados; we will touch every pocket in every community…they will start working from today.”

He noted that the collection of garbage falls in line with the concept of a national clean-up programme, and mentioned that the trucks would assist in the quick removal of waste under the programme.

Minister Prescod explained that Prime Minister Mia Amor Mottley had instructed that for 2020 plans be implemented and actioned to make Barbados the cleanest country within the Caribbean, or as far as the western hemisphere, and the national clean-up programme would be one of the driving factors towards reaching that goal. 

He said that it would not be just a de-bushing programme, but a beautification programme involving the removal of waste, which included bottles, metals and derelict vehicles. 

“This exercise is economical; it is environmental, social and aesthetically pleasing to not only Barbados but to the visitors,” Minister Prescod stated, as he spoke about the benefits of the programme.

Minister Prescod noted that there would be some collaboration on the programme with the Ministry of Health and Wellness, which had an intensive rat bait programme.

He said another component of the programme would involve the separation of waste at source, but the Ministry still had to work out the logistics of the proposed programme, including implementing the required codes.   

“So that you will know what type of waste to put in what colour bin, and you will also know that if you don’t do what you are supposed to do, the government will look at some form of civil action…some kind of civil penalties,” Mr. Prescod stated.

Minister of Environment and National Beautification, Trevor Prescod, speaking to the media at the Bridgetown Port, during the arrival of 10 new garbage trucks. (C.Pitt/BGIS)

He added that the programme would not be radically introduced to the public, and an education exercise would be carried out to assist Barbadians in adapting to the introduction of separation of waste at source, so that they would be given time to make the necessary adjustments. 

Minister Prescod also disclosed that a Returnable Containers Act would soon be passed.  He explained that it would enable the public to return plastic containers to wholesalers/retailers, which should assist in the reduction of plastic going to the landfill. 

He added that the landfill had approximately another two years in operation, and the Sanitation Services Authority Board and management were currently seeking alternative locations.

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