GrenadaGrows is the island’s first waste fertilizer company that is currently engaged in a Public Private Partnership (PPP) with the government of Grenada.
According to Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Dr. Judlyn Telesford-Checkley the company is currently working with the Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority, government and other stakeholders to turn fish and chicken waste, and other organics into fertilizer and enhanced compost products.
In an exclusive interview with THE NEW TODAY, Dr. Telesford-Checkley said that the landfill at Perseverance in St George North-west “is almost at capacity” and has “about 3 years left and it will be filled and getting space is an issue.”
She spoke of her group waiting on a Cabinet Conclusion from the present Congress government of Prime Minister Dickon Mitchell “to seal the deal” in order to work in conjunction with the Solid Waste Management Authority on the job at hand.
Dr. Telesford-Checkley disclosed that she is in touch with a company owned by a colleague in the United States that is already involved in using fish waste as part of the technology that has already been developed.
“So it’s not us trying to make up something – the technology is already proven in the U.S. So using his technology and equipment, we will use that to make fish waste and chicken waste,” she said.
In addition, she said that GrenadaGrows intend to utilise dead chicken and chicken parts in the process as these cannot be taken to the Landfill and that the Poultry operators have to manage their own waste on their property site.
“So we take that out from their hands. So we will be utilising all the fish waste, all the chicken waste including blood – we could use the blood as well.”
Dr. Telesford-Checkley also outlined plans of her company to work alongside the debushers on the island who cut grass and trees and suggested that instead of burning them “we can utilise that to make the fertilizer.”
In the area of composting, she said the plan is to utilize all the food waste in the country.
Stating that about 40% of what currently goes to the Landfill is food waste, she said, “That doesn’t need to go to the Landfill – that’s taking up space that doesn’t need to be there.”
According to Dr. Telesford-Checkley, once her company is able to utilise it then “it will reduce the amount of load that is going to the Landfill.”
“Our agreement with Solid Waste is that we would be located right next in their yard – adjacent to Solid Waste.”
“We will be given a piece of property there and when they come in with the food waste we sort it and it goes into our yard rather than going into the Landfill. We will be sharing part of the profit … we will be sharing the technology.”
The environmentalist specialist pointed out that the fish plants around the island have assured GrenadaGrows that it can take all of the waste.
Dr. Telesford-Checkley also made mention of a partnership arrangement between her company and the St Augustine campus of the University of the West Indies (UWI) in Trinidad to help with testing and validation.
She said the UWI campus has “a good food and agriculture programme” and “will be helping us with training.”
“They are excited about it because their role is to help with food security across the Caribbean,” she said, adding that the St Augustine campus will also help the local company with testing “our products, even develop new products.”
Dr. Telesford-Checkley also announced that GrenadaGrows will be working with a composting company in the U.S with focus on the commercial side of the business with product development.
The local company has been nominated by the Caribbean Climate Smart Accelerator for the 2023 Earthshot Prize in the area of Waste Management.
Dr. Telesford returned home in 2019 after living in the U.S for 17 years with working stints in Texas and also earned her doctorate in Wildlife Management and Fisheries.