– authorities launch probe, seek permanent disposal site
Officials are looking into complaints of indiscriminate dumping of faecal waste at the Kingston outfall in Georgetown.
On an average day, 15 trucks from private waste disposal companies empty untreated waste at the site which was established as a temporary solution more than a decade ago.
Some operators have been accused of emptying their tanks at the shoreline which creates a nightmare for workers at nearby offices and hotels.
Operators have been permitted to empty their tanks into a receptacle that connects to the Guyana Water Incorporated’s (GWI) main city sewerage line that empties at the mouth of the river.
However, there are complaints that the companies do not always use the receptacle and instead dump their waste directly along the shoreline. Then there are times when the system is blocked by sludge, leaving operators no other option than to dump the waste directly into the river.
This has been further compounded by the dumping of waste oil at the location.
According to senior officials, tourists visiting the area to get a glimpse of the sunset have been greeted with the site of trucks dumping sewerage collected from septic tanks around Georgetown and as far as Linden and Parika.
However, authorities believe the arrangement has outlived its usefulness. The Ministry of Communities has in recent weeks commissioned a study to monitor the site as part of efforts to determine the scale of dumping at the facility.
According to a senior official, there is a collaborative effort between the Ministry of Communities, GWI and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to find a long term solution.
Kaieteur News was told by Ministry officials that a plot of land has been identified for a permanent treatment site and an application has been made to the Guyana Lands and Survey.
Darren Shako, a Consultant at the Ministry of Communities explained that they are working towards a permanent treatment site.
“The current facility is just a disposal facility and it’s not a treatment facility and disposal is the final stage of treatment. The facility has been modified so that the waste is deposited far out into the sea. However, we want to improve waste management which is critical to being green as a nation so that is why we are focusing on this right now and this is just one of the many things we are looking at nationally,” Shako stated.
He made it clear that waste oil should not be dumped at the Kingston facility.
Kaieteur News understands that there are private developers that have shown interest in setting up a treatment facility, but they are experiencing setbacks in securing available land in a location where persons would not object to the treatment of faecal waste close to them.
“Most of the lands that they have identified they are not getting planning consent so we have now come on board to find a long term solution,” Shako explained.
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