Teenagers pioneer recycling initiative in West Bay

Luke and Jade Barnard pose next to the recyclable garbage collected from Highlands in West Bay.

Two teenagers, Jade and Luke Barnard, have begun a small-scale recycling business in West Bay at the Shores and at Highlands to encourage people to recycle their trash.

In April last year, Luke Barnard, 15, came up with the idea with his sister, Jade, 13, to earn a little pocket money while doing something to help the environment and his neighborhood.

Together, Jade and Luke decided that they would put aside a couple of hours every Sunday morning to collect the recycling that their neighbors put out on the curb and take it to the recycling point at the Foster’s Food Fair in West Bay, charging a small fee of either $5 or $3, respective to whether the recyclables came sorted or unsorted, into glass and plastic and cardboard.

“People want to recycle but they don’t always have the time or know-how to do so,” Jade said. “We want to expand this project to other neighborhoods and make it an official business soon.”

Currently, Jade and Luke are working with business studies students from the University College of the Cayman Islands under the Ministry of Commerce’s Student Consulting Program. Their mother Nancy Barnard said she was happy with the input, time and effort that the business students had committed toward helping Jade and Luke grow their business.

The siblings have applied for a business license that they hope to be approved in the next couple of weeks, and are also looking toward creating a website and convincing friends to get involved with the recycling scheme.

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