By Monique Washington
“There is only one designated area for dumping of refuse of any kind and that is our sanitary landfill at long point at low ground .There are no other legal designated areas for dumping on the island nowhere else,” says the manager of the Nevis Solid Waste Manager Andrew Hendrickson.
Mr. Hendrickson on Wednesday noted his displeasure with the number of persons illegally dumping trash in parts of the islands. Hendrickson said problem areas are Bath Village around the landfill, Potworks in areas close to the Medical University of the Americas, Hicks Estate and Hanley’s Road.
He said waste being dumped includes “white goods” like refrigerators, stoves, washing machines and sometimes green waste. He pointed out that sometimes people have been fooled by truckers to having them dump their refuse at illegal dumping sites.
“There is a misconception that truckers are exploiting, and the misconception is that it is expensive to dump at the landfill, that is not true,” he said.
Hendrickson to dump at the landfill is $70 per ton (1000lbs). He said some truckers have resorted to dumping on land , land-owners on the island that allow persons to dump green waste (plants, grass, tree barks) on their property, which is illegal but allowed because the material is biodegradable.
However, truckers have refused to separate the waste material in proper piling and are dumping metal, white goods, burnable in places on the island they should not. He also noted that sometimes truckers do not inform the landfill of large waste loads which causes the landfill to have a backup.
“If they inform us early enough that they have a large loads, like 10 trucks full, we would be able to use the bulldozer and make room for such a large load. Then they won’t have to dump them elsewhere,” he said.
Hendrickson said the landfill is always willing to remain open later and on weekends once the office is informed that a trucker has waste to dump. Hendrickson said illegal dumping, if continued can have a financially negative impact on the island when it comes to investors because if Nevis is dirty, investors would not want to come here.
Hendrickson also encouraged the public to dump their household garbage properly for garbage collection. He said It is not the responsibility of Solid Waste to provide the garbage bins for individuals and that persons can manage their own area for their household.
He also advised that food should not be thrown in garbage as it attracts animals and causes a “smelly and dirty” scent in the garbage truck. He encouraged person to stop placing large items and electrics at collection points as large items may damage the truck and electronics once they get to the land fill may cause fires.
“When those items like televisions end up over at the landfill they get compacted. The bulldozers trample them and they are just beneath the surface and certain components inside are electronic, then natural heat under the surface that breaks down the garbage are always at the landfill. The land fill is always a free risk. Methane is produced from garbage there has been a fire burning underground for years and we cannot get it out.” he said.
“Our landfill can be a ticking time bomb and some of those electronic components when they pick up heat inside there can sparked and there can be self-combustion ,” he warned.
Though dumping is a major issue at present, he said, “Changes are coming” when Waste to Energy is launched on Nevis.
“One day we will need the garbage. Some changes are coming .Waste to Energy plant is going to come. The minister has been working very hard on this,” he declared, adding that it will happen soon.