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Suruj: Too much waste going in landfills

truckAll the solid waste sites in Trinidad and Tobago are operating under stress and have gone beyond the boundaries because of the amount of waste being generated in the country, Local Government Minister Dr Suruj Rambachan stated yesterday.

Rambachan said there has been an increase in organic waste, household hazardous waste (i.e. batteries), non-biogra­dable waste such as plastics, as well as waste from industrial and commercial activities.

He added that the challenge of waste disposal was exacerba­ted by the generation of biome­dical and electronic waste.

The minister said Cabinet approved the Draft National Integrated Solid Waste Resource Management  Policy for Trinidad and Tobago.

The guidelines governing the draft were:

1. respect and care for the community of life

2. evidence-based management

3. the polluter pays principle—the generators of the waste will bear the costs imposed for waste treatment and disposal

4. the users pay principle

5. accountability

6. occupational health and safe­ty.

“As a small island state, we cannot continue to prematurely saturate landfill capacity for all waste types,” Rambachan said.

He added that apart from this being an inefficient and ineffective approach, it represen­ted a health hazard.

SWMCOL (Solid Waste Management Company Ltd) operates three sites in Beetham Highway, Forres Park and Guanapo, which receive 95 per cent of waste in the country.

A fourth waste site in Guapo is managed by the Point Fortin Borough Council, through a sub-contractual arrangement.


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