Waste or used lubricating oils are one of the most generated sources of pollution globally. Used lubricating oils originate from a variety of sources, such as the transportation, industrial and power-generation sectors, as well a use by the wider public. The improper disposal of wastes oils leads to the direct and indirect pollution of waterways, coastal areas and soils nationwide. Their presence in the natural environment poses severe ecological and human health implications as the contaminants in these oils can be toxic to all living organisms.

Recognizing this issue, the Basel Convention Regional Centre for Training and Technology Transfer for the Caribbean (BCRC-Caribbean) developed a national project for the Development of a Waste Oil Management System for Trinidad and Tobago, also known as the WOMS-TT project. The Green Fund of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago granted funding to the Centre for the execution of this national project in March 2015. The project seeks to address the human and environmental health risks associated with waste oils. Waste oils are of critical importance to Trinidad and Tobago as they account for the majority of the total amount of hazardous wastes recorded in the country.

The WOMS-TT project will identify the appropriate methods and technologies through which waste oils can be managed in Trinidad and Tobago and to support the development of an appropriate small-scale pilot technology for the treatment of waste oils to support their decontamination and reuse, which can then be replicated in other Caribbean countries. As such, the BCRC-Caribbean has contracted the services of Planning Associates Limited (PAL) to undertake the planning, conceptual design assessment, detailed engineering design, contractor selection and preparation of training modules works on the above captioned project. The demonstration facility will be commissioned in Tobago.

A kick-off meeting hosted by BCRC-Caribbean and facilitated by PAL is scheduled for Monday 27 and Tuesday 28 March 2017 in Tobago. The objective of the meeting to discuss the status, past and current challenges of waste oil management in Tobago, and to establish and encourage information sharing through the engagement of key stakeholders as they play an important role in the management of waste oil. Featured speakers include the Director of the BCRC-Caribbean, Dr. Ahmad Khan, and Councillor Kwesi Des Vignes from the Tobago House of Assembly, with welcome remarks from the Department of Natural Resources and the Environment (DNRE) and the Green Fund Executing Unit (GFEU).