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In the years following its independence from Great Britain in 1962, Trinidad and Tobago began to emerge as a major developing nation in the Caribbean.  However, this rapid development also exposed the absence of a structured mechanism of waste management. This was evidenced by the increasing number of open-burning dumps and by the ever-present garbage and derelict vehicles that littered the country from coast to coast.

In the interest of public health and safety, the Government of Trinidad and Tobago established the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) in November 1980. SWMCOL’s initial mandates to design and implement solid and hazardous waste management systems and structures, and to advise the local government providers on waste management, were subsequently expanded to include the construction and management of engineered landfills, the collection of industrial waste, the transportation and processing of faecal waste, and the processing of recyclable materials.


SWMCOL celebrated its milestone 40th Anniversary on November 12th, 2020 and marked the occasion with a digital review of some of its major accomplishments over the past four decades. The Company’s goals for the future include the transformation of the country’s traditional waste sector to more sustainable structures by the year 2030.

To view our anniversary video, please visit SWMCOL’s 40th ANNIVERSARY

List of Key Achievements 

1980 SWMCOL established on Nov 12
1981 Charlie the Litterbug character launched June 06
1983 Open-burning dumps converted to landfills; Forres Park and Studley Park Landfills designed and constructed
1989 Glass recovery initiative commences at Beetham; Beetham Bottle Vendors’ Association established
1991 Waste Paper Recovery initiative commenced
1996 Branch office established in Scarborough, Tobago
2004 Launched the Disaster Emergency Response Team (DERT) following Hurricane Ivan
2005 Staged eWaste Symposium in Aug
2008 Staged Regional Conference in Recognition of the United Nations International Year of Sanitation

Launch of SWMCOL’s “Get Into Green” campaign, logo, and new service fleet

Launch of the PoS Recycling Depot

Reintroduction of Charlie the Litterbug

2015 Commissioned the first Beverage Container Recycling Facility in the English-speaking Caribbean
2016 Launch of the first Municipal Curbside Recycling Programme (MCRP)

Launch of the Public Sector Recycling Programme (PSRP) in Jan

Launch of the Workplace Waste Reduction and Recycling Programme (WRAP) in May



Get into green sustainability recycling with SWMCOL and save the environment.

“Get into Green” is more than a call to action. It is both a precept and a promise.

The promise is that of a greener tomorrow for the benefit of all when we “Get into Green”.