This country generates an estimated 750,000 tonnes of waste annually, with more than 80 per cent of it being recyclable. This was revealed by chairman of the Environmental Management Authority (EMA), Nadra Nathai-Gyan, in a release on Tuesday to coincide with yesterday's observation of World Environment Day.
Nathai-Gyan said as a small island developing state, TT accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions worldwide.
She said the government along with industry has committed to reduce this further by 15 per cent by 2030.
Nathai-Gyan said citizens should consider how their actions may contribute to air pollution and to act in a responsible manner towards the environment.
“According to the United Nations, over seven million people die prematurely each year from air pollution, hence World Environment Day 2019 urges government, industries, communities and citizens to explore renewable energy, green technologies and implement sustainable waste management systems in a bid to improve air quality globally.”
Nathai-Gyan said improving the collection, separation and use of recyclable waste resources reduces the volume of commingled waste that is burned, landfilled and/or indiscriminately discarded.
She said the EMA’s Green Fund sponsored Recyclable Solid Waste Collection Project (The iCARE Project) provides opportunities for the nation to adopt responsible behaviour with respect to the disposal of unwanted recyclable waste resources.
“To date, three pilot collection depots have been established and over 500 recyclable collection bins have been strategically placed in public schools and communities nationwide.
“The EMA through its national Ambient Air Quality Monitoring Network and Air Quality Index programme has been obtaining accurate, real-time assessment of ambient air quality in several locations locally.”
Nathai-Gyan said there are currently three ambient air quality monitoring stations in TT. Two are currently located in Trinidad (Port of Spain and Chaguanas) and the third station is at Signal Hill, Tobago.
She said a fourth station will be acquired later this year to be located in San Fernando.
“The data and information collected from these stations are building a comprehensive and intelligent database on air quality pollutants.
“Meteorological parameters will be used to track and analyse pollution trends, conduct impact assessments of pollution sources and categories as well as determine compliance with existing standards.”