By Shikema Dey
With Guyana likely to see first oil come December, one of the major concerns is the large quantity of waste that is expected. The waste will not only come from direct oil activities, but from resulting effects like the growth of the population.
Manager of the country’s largest Landfill – the Haags Bosch Site, Lloyd Stanton, in February had disclosed that the site would be able to handle waste coming from the Oil and Gas Sector.
But on Thursday at the Landfill site’s annual media tour, he back-tracked on that assertion and revealed that the site cannot handle such waste.
“The waste coming from the oil and gas activities right now goes through a company called Tiger Tanks”, Stanton said.
Despite this, he disclosed to the media that the Haags Bosch site has made several improvements over the years.
This includes frequent monitoring of the overall operations along with the implementation of ground water testing.
“We’re now in the process of introducing ground water testing on a more regular pace…to ensure that what is going on at the landfill site does not reach into the ground water”.
One of the major concerns raised was the issue of the odour emitted from the rotting waste, especially during the rainy season.
But Stanton relayed that they utilize ‘tarps and clay’ to prevent this from becoming a health problem.
“One of the things we do is cover the garbage. It is important to know that what people complain of as odour has nothing to do with fresh garbage. Fresh garbage rarely smells more than 500 metres from where it is dumped. The odour that people smell is the gas coming from the garbage after decomposition.”
Another major issue that was highlighted was the build-up of old tyres at the dumpsite. It was noted that this has been a problem since 2011, when the site was developed. More than 10,000 tyres are currently piled up in a heap at the facility.
The manager stressed that these old tyres can be recycled and used for various projects and he urged persons to consider these options before dumping them.
The Haags Bosch Landfill site was opened in 2011 after the landfill at Le Repentir reached its full capacity.
Located at Eccles on the East Bank of Demerara, the Haags Bosch facility, which is funded by the Inter-American Development Bank and the Government, can handle all municipal land waste and other solids. Currently, the site sees an intake of about 400 tonnes of garbage daily.
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