No Excuse For Not Recycling In Barbados

Garbage Garbage Everywhere!

Garbage Garbage Everywhere!

The torrential rains we’ve had in the last day once again overwhelmed the city’s ability to shed water in a timely manner. While the damage could have been worse, in one area near Shona’s work there were at least ten parked vehicles had their interiors flooded when a nearby catchment became blocked with floating garbage – primarily plastic.

It is easy enough to blame the government for not keeping the drainage system clean – and there is certainly some blame that needs to be directed that way – but there are not enough public workers on the entire island to pick up after the thousands of thoughtless people who throw their garbage everywhere. And much that garbage ends up blocking grates and drains as it is now.

Our culture and attitudes must change from that of “guvment take care of it” to “This street is mine and I must take care of my property.”

Andrew Hulsmeier’s video of some friends cleaning up a portion of the south coast boardwalk highlights both the problem and a part of the solution.

If every person would pick up just three pieces of trash a day on the way to work, school or when walking about, this place would look like a new country in six months.

Photo of garbage taken from Andrew Hulsmeier’s video: Your Barbados, The Demise of the newly Built South Coast Boardwalk. See the video and read some interesting commentary at Living In Barbados blog (link here).

Barbados Recycling Resources

Barbados Recyclers List 2009Here is a list of Barbados recyclers as compiled by the Future Center Trust and distributed to friends by Lani Edghill. Thanks, Lani!


Filed under Barbados, Environment

22 responses to “No Excuse For Not Recycling In Barbados

  1. CanuckBajan

    “If every person would pick up just three pieces of trash a day on the way to work, school or when walking about, this place would look like a new country in six months.”

    If every person would recycle everything that can be recycled and take their litter home or place it in a bin instead of simply tossing it aside, this place would look like a new country in six hours! Time to take some responsibility and pride in one’s surroundings!

    With each return to the island, I’ve been increasingly disgusted by the amount of garbage laying about along streets & sidewalks, up in the country, along beaches, overflowing bins, etc. Why do people do this?!

  2. Duppy Lizard

    Perhaps the government needs to adopt measures similar to Singapore – charge people who litter. Styrofoam lunch boxes, plastic bags and bottles are a scourge.

  3. Cheryl

    We try very hard but the problem is the politicians and civil servants fail to do what is necessary. The police fails to enforce the law or do any investigative research on dump site. Politicians fail to enact laws with teeth.The newspapers fail to highlight the issues of littering in a meaningful way. Government fails to make it illegal to drive a vehicle that smokes nonstop.

    Recently Nicole at the Future Centre and I coordinated a beach cleanup at Long beach and we collected 2000lbs of trash.
    We will be having a major beach cleanup and a No Plastic Bag Day in September. Call 425-2020 for further info.

  4. Amen to that, Lizard.
    Bajans themselves are the worst offenders when it comes to littering.

  5. Sing-a-song

    I try to not only keep my yard clean but that section of the public road in front of my house. It can be frustrating. Just last week as I finished picking up the litter from the road, along comes two noble Bajans drinking their Mackeson stouts and each eating a cutter. One throws his empty bottle against the neighbour’s wall, causing bits of broken bottle to be strewn all over the side of the road (where children play barefooted). The other great citizen just drops his empty bottle on the ground and they both throw the paper wrappings from the cutters on the road. As they pass me with the look of incredulity on my face they laughingly say ” Look some more things to clean up old man!”

    Wonderful people us Bajans.

  6. J

    Sing-a-song wrote “I try to not only keep my yard clean but that section of the public road in front of my house.”

    Exactly what me parents taught me and exactly what I practice. If only everybody would do this…

  7. Ivan Taylor

    Government needs to set a mandate that recycling has to be done if not people will be fined, just like when the seat belt law was implemented. We have to start as Barbados next attraction will be the landfill

  8. Sir Bentwood Dick

    Go past the gymnasium the day after any major event and the lack of care will be amply exhibited.

    Litter everywhere. Instead of searching for a dustbin and depositing there, trash is dropped there and then.

    No respect, no pride.

    Our Anthem?

  9. Sing-a-song

    I agree that appropriate laws and policing is required BUT what is first needed is a citizenry who cares to keep its environment clean and tidy.

    Unfortunately such a sensitivity to each other and to our environment is deemed old fashioned and “colonial”.

    “Just leh we do our own ting.”

  10. Mongoose

    Careful Cheryl and Nicole. Some people get very vex when they see citizens taking it upon themselves to do a good deed. There are those who see a conspiracy, a hidden agenda or ulterior motive in those that prefer action over chiming and moaning. Well done Cheryl and Nicole.

  11. “Catching Sprats To Hunt Bigger Game” –

  12. St. Peter Parish Ambassadors

    Through the research done for this years parish project THE GREEN SOLUTION…we, Renaldo Parris & Thandeka Fergusson have found that it is not only inexcuseable NOT to recycle but it is expensive…
    There are depots in B’dos that pay residents for things like plastic bottles(laundry detergent,pet bottles, gasoline bottles etc), carboard, paper(all), tins and scrap metal….
    To SEPARATE garbage easily…you only need to have separate bags/bins and then call ne1 of the agencies who come to your home and pay you on the spot!

    SOUNDS easy?…Well it is!
    This message compliments the St. Peter PArish Ambassadors for 2009.

  13. Mathilde

    My neighborhood has a recycling programme. I have 3 canvas bags that I put my glass bottles, metal cans and plastic containers (all rinsed) into and then drop it off in the recycle bins. Admittedly having to rinse out everything can be a wee pain in the arse, but I have a young child so I consider it my parental duty to help make his future as clean as I can.
    There is no paper recycler though, so what St. Peter Parish Ambassadors says is interesting. I probably throw out more paper material than metal so I would love to see if my neighborhood could add this in (although even our glass barrel is overflowing in a few days so I can only imagine how quickly paper will fill up!)

  14. St. Peter Parish Ambassadors

    Ace recycling recylces paper. 😀

  15. St. Peter Parish Ambassadors

    you can also recycle cooking oil and ink cartridges. you can reduce the plastic bag NOT by using paper but by using a green bag which can be used over and over….what is a major problem is the tetrapak…there are however creative ways to use this device…in order to see more about our project visit our website @

  16. reality check


    beautiful green web page

    Good work!!!

  17. Sundowner

    Look for local businesses that reuse paper for packaging as well, such as Earthworks Pottery in St Thomas, also Vets & the RSPCA, would be delighted to receive newspapers.

  18. victor

    WhiIe the rest of the worId is thinking about recycIing their domestic garbage, Iet’s Ieave Barbados out of the discussion. ShaII we just take the baby steps first, and THEN take a more gIobaI view? Why is it that when I go for a sea bath on Bathsheba beach and I take a pIastic bag to coIIect the rubbish and nappies pushed into the rocks on my way back I am toId I “shame myseIf”? Then I’m toId that named IocaIs wiII just put extra rubbish on the sand for the fun of seeing me pick it up, next day. I don’t know which message wiII get through to Bajans; 1: the worId is trying to recycIe or 2: STOP Iittering because it destroys your capitaI investment – the isIand.

    I was swimming on Bathsheba beach on a day when a group came to do baptisms. I retired under a tree onIy to see bored chiIdren of 8 and 10 years oId tossing bottIes onto the sand, cheering when they smashed. I asked the Ieader of the group to stop the kids’ bottIe smashing because severaI of my neighbour’s smaII chiIdren come down to pIay on the beach after schooI at St EIizabeth’s in bare feet. He just sucked his teeth and went back to the baptising. It isn’t just the IocaI chiIdren who are hurt, tourists visit the beach with Safari every day. What must they think, when they see a Ioad of broken gIass on the beach? Then there’s the other guys who on purpose smash bottIes into the Bathsheba pooIs. When I was a chiId I saw my IittIe sister step onto the bottom haIf of a smashed Coke bottIe on the beach and it sIiced the back of her heeI right off. My Dad was with us and IuckiIy a doctor so she didn’t Iose haIf her foot. WHY is it that peopIe think it ok to chuck stuff out of the car window Iike Chef ette cartons into the cane fieIds? There is an underIying current of resentment there about Iittering, an attitude of “someone eIse poorer than me wiII cIean up after me” which needs to be addressed before we start putting government funds into “greening” the evironment.

  19. St. Peter Parish Ambassadors 2009

    Thank you very much!

    Renaldo Parris & Thandeka Fergusson

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  22. RU4 real

    The latest site to become a pseudo rubbish tip is the load prison and lighthouses at Harrison’s Point. This is where the tourist safaris drive along the cliff and people come for pi now marred by half burned beds and rusty old fridges.
    What is wrong with the Dump for goodness sake?