(CNS): The Department of Environmental Health has confirmed it will be taking over the collection of recyclable materials that the public leaves at supermarkets next month, after the private sector firm that has been operating the service announced it was pulling out. The DEH said that the recent request for proposals had only one bidder but government thought the proposal was too expensive and would therefore be taking on the job itself while another RFP is underway.
The sole bidder was Junk, co-owner Rolston Anglin confirmed. He spoke to CNS this week about the cost of recycling and the challenges posed by the size of the community, its lack of negotiating power and the need to ship materials to middlemen in the US.
DEH Director Roydell Carter said in the release that government was taking on the recycling as a temporary measure.
“The DEH will immediately step in to take over management of the various depots so customers can continue to deliver their recyclable materials to bins located at Foster’s Food Fair stores by the Airport, Strand, Countryside, and Republix as well as to Kirk Market, Hurley’s supermarket, and Chisholm’s Supermarket in North Side,” he said.
However, there will be some changes at the locations where the public drop their materials: there will now be separate bins for clean paper (including shredded paper, newspapers and magazines, boxboard and old corrugated cardboard), aluminum cans, and totes for glass and ceramics. Metal cans, such as food and pet food containers, can now be recycled at all of these locations.
But officials warned that government will not recycle all plastics as it said it was not viable.
The DEH will continue accept #1 PET plastics such as plastic drinks containers and #2 HDPE, which is things like milk jugs and detergent containers. These plastics can be identified by the numbers that are stamped onto the bottom of the plastic containers.
“Taking household and small business waste to be recycled helps divert waste out of the landfill,” said Jim Schubert, Senior Project Manager for the Integrated Solid Waste Management System (ISWMS). “It helps us all to play our part in the management of an ever-increasing amount of waste materials on the island.”
The government’s recycling project will be spearheaded by DEH Assistant Director of Solid Waste, Mark Rowlands, who asks that everyone please respect the depots by removing plastic bags, ensuring the recyclables are clean, and avoiding contaminating the bins with garbage or containers not currently being recycled.
“If everyone does their part, the costs for running the system will be minimised with a more efficient system,” he said.
The DEH hopes the costs of managing the programme itself will be less than the cost tendered by Junk. With a new RFP on the cards officials said Junk, along with any other interested parties, will have an opportunity to bid on the larger contract, which should be advertised by year-end ahead of government’s wider goals of a complete new waste-management strategy.
During a fundraising dinner this week, the premier revealed that once the tyres at the landfill have been removed, it will begin the much-anticipated mulching and composting programme to reduce the amount of green waste going into the landfill and generate a local source of fertilizer and soil cover.
Following an RFP, the developers behind the Ironwood Golf Resort in North Side are supposed to be taking the tyres.
The DEH said it would be developing further educational and promotional programmes to help customers understand the new system and to encourage the public to engage in recycling.
For more information, please contact the DEH’s office at 949-6696 or 949-8796 or email@example.com.
Category: environmental health