Haags Bosch landfill site…Design delay prevents start of hazardous waste cell
Head of the Solid Waste Management Programme, Gordon Gilkes, has stated that works on the specially designed cell at the Haags Bosch landfill site at Eccles will not be able to commence until the last quarter of this year.
Gilkes, who was responding to questions about the status of the cell during a media briefing earlier this week, said they are still working on a possible design for the medical and hazardous waste cell.
According to Gilkes, originally in the loan agreement for the site, there was no allocation for the construction of the hazardous waste cell. However, there was allocation for the study of a design for such a facility. Gilkes further pointed out that just over a year ago, after careful consideration, officials from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) decided to allocate part of the loan to the construction.
“Because the design was not completed we had a conceptual design, but the detailed design was not completed, and now we are trying to engage a consultant to do the conceptual design for the construction, but we will not be able to start before the end of August,” Gilkes explained.
He added that in the interim they had approached the IDB for funding for the operation of the hydroclave disposal system which was installed at the Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC). This piece of equipment, collects, sterilizes and shreds waste.
As it is now, Gilkes said, biomedical and other hazardous waste, mainly from hospitals, are treated in the hydroclave, following which they are disposed of in the regular cells at Haags Bosch.
Also speaking on the issue of the hazardous waste cell, Junior Finance Minister Juan Edghill added that not only was the GPHC equipped with the hydroclave but they were also given a vehicle to collect waste from all the hospitals, including private ones.
Chief Executive Officer of GPHC, Michael Khan, acknowledged that the hospital has been collecting and processing waste from government hospitals. He noted that only recently they were approached by the Balwant Singh Hospital for assistance with processing the medical waste from that institution. Khan said they are awaiting requests from other private medical institutions but noted that this cannot be done free of charge.
The hydroclave is a double-walled cylindrical vessel which utilizes steam under pressure to sterilize hazardous healthcare waste. It has been in operation at the GPHC compound since November 2011.