NASSAU, The Bahamas – The Government of The Bahamas is now in a position to save over $6 million annually after divesting its waste management programme to Renew Bahamas. Prime Minister, the Right Hon. Perry G. Christie said that the government’s decision to outsource waste management to the private enterprise has been a positive move, which will save taxpayers millions of dollars annually.
During the official launch of the Renew Bahamas Materials Recycling Facility on Thursday, May 28, Mr. Christie said that he was ‘elated that the government no longer has this bill to pay.’
“This is a wonderful day for our country,” said Mr. Christie. “The way to future prosperity is when governments can participate in public-private partnerships such as this one, which means that expenses that were formerly borne by the government fall in the hands of the private sector.”
Mr. Christie said that since Renew Bahamas took over the landfill on Harold Road (locally known as the ‘Dump’), several positive changes have occurred including fewer fires, enhanced security measures and the creation of ‘green jobs.’
Minister for the Environment, the Hon. Kendred Dorsette said that the Bahamas is now in the business of recycling with a recycling plant that is a first of its kind in the region.
The recycling plant will process up to 80 tons of residential and commercial waste per hour, positioning the Bahamas as a regional leader in waste management.
President and CEO of Renew Bahamas Gerhard Beukes said there have been many challenges associated with bringing plans to fruition but he was optimistic about the future of his company. He said that he was most grateful for the support that he has received from the government and the 85 employees working at the plant.
Renew Bahamas is waste management company with the objective to minimize the amount of waste that ends up in landfill by transforming it into valuable resources wherever possible. The company was contracted by government in January of 2014 to manage and operate the nation’s largest landfill.
Each year, the Island of New Providence produces over 500,000 tons of solid waste. Of this amount, households produce around 190,000 tons, with the remainder coming from a variety of other municipal, commercial, industrial, construction & demolition sources. The average household in the Bahamas disposes of 1,500 pounds of waste annually. (The average is 1,600 pounds in the United States). This is the equivalent of disposing four pounds of sugar daily.
The bulk of this waste is currently disposed of at the landfill, despite containing a number of potentially valuable materials. Consequently, Renew Bahamas developed this new Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) at the Government’s Harold Road Site in New Providence to help sort and separate the incoming waste into high quality recovered materials.
The first MRF’s in North America were built in the 1970’s but their importance was not felt until the past few decades with the increase in the price of commodities and with the increase in the global awareness to safeguard the world’s resources.