Plastic waste is compressed into bales at the Tobago Recycling Resource Initiative (TRRI) Facility. (Image courtesy DIQE-THA)

The Unemployment Relief Programme (URP) in Tobago is rebranding itself the ‘Useful…Relevant…Productive’ programme, following success with its major recycling projects over the past six months.

An official release from the Division of Infrastructure, Quarries and the Environment (DIQE) in the Tobago House of Assembly (THA) says URP is giving recycling “a Big Push!”, in a bid to make Tobago a zero percent waste-to-landfill Island by the year 2025.

The Division notes in its update that participants of the East Women’s Programme and Environment Programme in URP Tobago have amassed substantial recyclables for processing at the recently commissioned Tobago Recycling Resource Initiative (TRRI) plant.

A team of 21 participants have received hands-on training and experience at the plant TRRI—sorting, crushing, and baling, and learning different aspects of the industry.

According to DIQE-THA, over 750 kg or 758 bags of material including plastic bottles, metal cans, tetra packs, glass bottles, newspaper, and cardboard were recovered from drains, watercourses, and some homeowners.

The Division reports that in addition to URP driving waste retrieval in east Tobago, its teams also have collected waste disposal data from residents from the northern and eastern parts of the island. Some 1,217 waste characterization forms were collected—information which will be used to guide future policy and strategy on waste disposal.