By Cheri Wood – Grand Bahama Branch, Bahamas National Trust
Recycling on Grand Bahama? Is there any? All too often I hear people complaining about how we do not recycle on the island. Well for starters, in February of this year we just exported our millionth can to be recycled. There are over 70 bright red aluminum can recycle bins in schools, condos, parks, businesses, bars and restaurants throughout the Freeport area which are being filled daily- and that’s only the beginning.
Aluminum cans are just a very small part of what is being diverted from our local landfill to other places around the globe to be recycled and reused. The business of recycling is employing Bahamians on our island, cleaning up our coastlines and streets, and extending the life of our landfill. Grand Bahama DOES recycle and it’s all happening right here is Freeport.
Proprietor of Presto Recycling Trevas Hall (center) going over new building plans with employees.
A few short years ago one man had a vision. He drove around Freeport with a trailer and a pick up truck collecting unsightly debris scattered around the island and metal which was being discarded in our landfill. He knew scrap metal had value and he knew it was being thrown away every day.
Today that man, Bahamian born Trevas Hall and his wife Nacoya are the proprietors of Presto Recycling of Freeport. Presto Recycling has grown from one man and a trailer to 24 employees, 7-8 containers a week, and over 1 million pounds of metal being exported each month for recycling purposes.
The largest amount of metal being recycled on Grand Bahama is steel. Steel is being exported to the tune of about 4-5 containers a week. Spend one hour at Presto Recycling and you will be amazed at the waste steel that comes through the lot. In addition to steel, Presto accepts all non-ferrous metals, car batteries, and aluminum cans. And yes they accept copper, but let’s be very clear. This company does not accept any merchandise that has a questionable origin and they require proper identification from all who attempt to trade metal for money.
Presto Recycling is the only licensed scrap metal business in Freeport and they follow strict guidelines to ensure the ongoing success of their business. I learned this first hand when I brought in some scrap aluminum window frames from my condo building. Don’t even try to unload anything there that may be questionable. Presto is not interested.
Presto Recycling’s contributions to the economics of the island are quite substantial when you look at the cycle involved in the scrap metal business. There are the 24 Bahamians who work directly at Presto’s current location on Queens Highway. Then you have all the people involved with exporting the containers, the people who service Presto’s vehicles, and the people who provide Presto’s advertising and branded signage. It just goes on and on. The economic ripples of this company are all positive and on the environmental front the impacts are obvious.
Aluminum cans are just a very small part of what is being diverted from our local landfill to other places around the globe to be recycled and reused.
Presto also gives back time and time again to the community. They are a valued partner of the Keep Grand Bahama Clean committee and they are avid supporters of educating children on the environment. The employees of Presto have assisted with area clean-ups and they are always willing to lend a hand when it comes to environmental initiatives on the island. This is a company that has a heart and a soul, not just a balance sheet. Trevas and Nacoya’s personal drive and determination to succeed has resulted in their business growing by leaps and bounds.
Presto has now outgrown their current facility and has plans to expand to a new location on Mahogany Street right around the corner from Dolly Madison. Their new location will provide easier access for consumers to bring in their recyclable items and also increase their capacity to fill containers. Once they have relocated they plan to expand the items they accept for recycling.
If we keep our fingers crossed we just may see glass or plastic enter the picture soon. Anything is possible. We environmentalists just need to be patient and thankful that we have the can, the metal, and the car battery recycling available right now.
Presto recycle bin on top of pallet of cans ready for export.So….if scrap metal is a waste product of your business call Presto today at 351-9319 or 646-3475. Presto is always willing to discuss opportunities on how your trash can become their treasure. In the case of large quantities, they can even place scrap collection bins at your work site. And if you are still throwing out your aluminum soda and beer cans, please get with the program.
Drop off your cans at any red collection bin on the island including the Humane Society and the Rand Nature Centre, or if you have a place of business call Presto for a bin of your own.