Sat | Dec 4, 2021

Focus on repurposing waste

Published:Friday | October 22, 2021 | 12:07 AM

THE EDITOR, Madam:

This is with reference to a The Gleaner editorial last month titled, ‘Urgent need to rethink waste management’. I believe one man’s trash is another man’s treasure. There are a lot of resources going to waste in garbage. Most people that travel know that in most developed countries, garbage must be separated at source and different types are processed differently. Paper products, metals, glass and many plastics can be recycled but it is not a highly profitable or glamorous business, so Government has to devise frameworks that provide incentives for players to participate in the processing of waste.

Biodegradable waste can serve as feedstock for fertilisers, as well as energy from the methane it releases as it decomposes. By its very nature, it starts to decompose very quickly in the tropical heat, so it must be collected quickly and contained in biodigesters to capture as much of the methane generated as possible. This is a major challenge and will only work if the products (fertiliser and methane) are successfully harvested and used for maximum economic returns.

Creative processing of waste could turn an economic burden into an engine of growth and employment for many.

ALAN SEARCHWELL

Via Gleaner Online