SOLID WASTE Management Company (SWMCOL) chief executive officer Ronald Roach has said TT produces approximately 700,000 tonnes of waste per year with the average citizen producing 1.4 kg of waste daily.
He said recycling was no longer an option as the nation was running out of space at its landfill sites.
Roach was addressing the San Fernando City Corporation’s monthly statutory meeting, at City Hall chambers, Harris Promenade yesterday.
The meeting was attended by several primary and secondary school students who took part in a project using recyclable materials in which replicas of historic landmarks such as the old fire station and city hall were reconstructed.
Roach said TT is an island state which is “continually importing” all types of products which come in a wide range of packaging.
“The reality is we are simply running out of space with which we can dispose of materials, your waste,” he said, adding that 80 per cent of TT’s waste was made of recyclable materials.
And speaking with reporters afterwards, Roach said the company was recycling approximately 38 tonnes of plastic monthly through a number of programmes such as the iCare bins and curb side programmes.
“We are an island nation and SWMCOL operates three landfills right now. Beetham is the largest and receives half of the country’s waste. When you really look at Beetham, where it is, it is in a swamp right now and its really running out of space. How do you relocate a site like Beetham? Where do you put that waste that is coming in now? Nobody wants to have a landfill close to where they live, so it becomes very difficult, if not impossible, to find new space to have a landfill site.
“The solution has to be recycling.”
Roach said TT is a “consumer society” which imports a lot of consumer products with most of those products coming with packaging which is disposed after the product is used.
“So we do generate far too much waste than we should for an island state.” Roach said the banning of plastic products was not necessarily the answer, as plastic is a very important product which is used in a wide range of products.
“We have come to depend upon plastic and therefore it is not necessarily banning it but seeing ways in which it can be reused, the government is in fact looking at the ban of styrofoam and they have to look at the fact that there are manufacturers of styrofoam in Trinidad creating employment, so those things have to be taken into consideration.”
SWMCOL CEO Ronald Roach said TT produces approximately 700,000 tonnes of waste per year with the average citizen producing 1.4 kilograms of waste daily.
He said TT is ranking with the leading industrialised countries in the area of waste production.
He said recycling is the answer to the country’s waste production problem as the Beetham landfill was running out of space.