The Department of Environment (DOE) says that a newly acquired egg tray-making machine will not be put into use until the Cabinet has approved a strategy paper for its operation.
This has caused some contention among members of the Antigua and Barbuda Poultry Association, who claim it was they who recommended the acquisition of this very equipment to the Cabinet.
The DOE says it is currently preparing, for the Cabinet’s approval, a strategy paper that will outline how the machine will be operationalised and managed.
In the meantime, it says, the machine is being stored at the Antigua and Barbuda Waste Recycling Corporation (ABWREC) and will remain out of operation until the strategy has been approved.
Before the machine was procured, the DOE claims, it held consultations with the relevant stakeholders, including a representative of what was then the Poultry Association.
Subsequently, the Department says it was reliably informed that the Poultry Association had split into two separate bodies.
In a press statement, the DOE says, “The existence of two separate associations has proven to be a significant roadblock in the implementation of this project, due to the fact that the DOE cannot … facilitate unfair market advantages of one group of stakeholders over another.”
Meanwhile, the DOE says it is exploring opportunities, particularly in the waste-recycling, farming, and other sectors.
It says these initiatives have already begun, using technologies such as green landscaping equipment, renewable energy, and others not usually found in small islands.
In order to improve recycling efforts, the Department says, one of the key technologies it procured is the egg tray-making machine, which will promote the recycling of paper and cardboard.