Dutch Minister of Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) Miklos Giterson announced on Thursday August 9 that the main landfill in Sint Maarten will close at 18 p.m. every day of the 9 to August 16.
This measure aims to prevent the unsupervised dumping of household waste, in particular on areas still prone to fires. “The fire, which broke out in the northern part of the landfill on Tuesday evening, was mainly extinguished by firefighters in the early morning of Wednesday. On the advice of the fire department, the rest is authorized to burn over the next few days, ”indicates the government of Sint Maarten. As for the complete extinction of the underground fires, which are the main cause of the periodic outbreaks, the Minister awaits the arrival of a World Bank mission from August 20. During this mission, further detailed reconnaissance of the landfill will be undertaken, a critical step for the start of the “Fire Suppression” project. This project, which also includes the removal of debris from Hurricane Irma, is one of the emergency recovery projects funded by the Trust Fund.
In addition to the fire suppression project, a permanent solution to the overcapacity of the landfill is still being studied. The Ministry has hired a waste management project manager who will be responsible for continuing research and making recommendations on the most sustainable options for waste treatment in Sint Maarten.
“I want to reassure the public that, as I said on the first day of my first press briefing, this situation has always been, and continues to be, my highest priority as minister,” assured Minister Giterson. And to add: “believe me when I say it, I am just as upset as the rest of the population that these fires continue to occur. Fires, expired landfill life, and adopting a more cost-effective and environmentally friendly waste disposal method are all challenges we are tackling.”
(Photo credits: government of St. Maarten) (Source: www.soualigapost.com)
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