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Central Bank ramps up recycling drive

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Public Utilities Minister Robert Le Hunte yesterday advised that the conservation of water and electricity could save the country millions of dollars.

Le Hunte was speaking at the launch of the Waste Reduction and Recycling Programme at Central Bank Auditorium in Port-of-Spain yesterday.

“Look at how we use electricity, we can bring down the bill by 15 per cent and it will benefit us. If we bring it down by 15 per cent, the country would save a $100 million and you will be playing a part in the development of the country and you will benefit,” he said.

He said systems like this will be a benefit to all and would result in a win-win situation.

He said many conserved water during the dry season but we need to look at how much water we waste.

“When you look at how much we waste water, how much we use, wash wares and look at how much we waste water. We use two to three times more than what most people use around the world,” he said.

Le Hunte said the water supply would be increased when components were repaired and revenue will be increased.

Central Bank Governor Dr Alvin Hilaire said the environment and sea levels were affected by a lack of recycling products which could affect future generations. He said taxing on plastic bags in supermarkets and going online instead of using print were ways to stop using materials that were not recycled.

“I have stopped getting newspaper hardcopy. Some can’t get away from it. It’s a cultural thing and it takes time because we want to go that way of energy conservation. Culturally, it might have resistance and we have to get more into that,” he said.

He said the bank already received some 35 tonnes of one cent pieces which were withdrawn from circulation. He said the bank issued 50 million in one cent coins a year but now the bank is selling the metallic value to a company in England.

Amrita Gosine Assistant Manager, External Relations Department Central Bank said the bank began its recycling initiative in 1991 by recycling shredded paper and newspapers, which continued and expanded to include a number of other environmentally friendly initiatives.

“In spite of the work we have been doing, we only recycle approximately three per cent of the total waste produced by the bank with 97 per cent being disposed of in the nation’s landfill,” she said.

Gosine said blue bins will be for the collection of tetra paks, aluminium cans, glass and plastic bottles and the second set of bins which are green will be used for the collection of paper and paper products.

She said all recycle bins will be cleared twice a week as part of the bank’s janitorial programme and stored in designated areas for collection by SWMCOL.


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