By anguillian October 30, 2017 10:28 Updated




Between 20 and 30 more metric tons of solid waste material is being taken to the Corito landfill site daily since Hurricane Irma devastated Anguilla on September 6, 2017.

Among the fresh debris is a quantity of galvanise and galvalume ripped off house roofs, adding to the already considerable amount of metal deposited at the landfill prior to the hurricane – and now waiting to be exported to Asia for the recycling industry in China.

The above information was gleaned by The Anguillian in an interview with Ms. Kathleen Rogers, Principal Environment Health Officer in the Department of Health Protection.

“How has your department been handling the situation since Hurricane Irma left tons of rubble in the various communities in Anguilla?” The Anguillian asked Ms. Rogers.

“We had the Ministry of Infrastructure clearing off the roads. They put out a call for individuals to remove all the metal and other rubble from their premises and to pile it up on the roadside. From there it has all been ending up at Corito,” she replied.

“We also had our three waste contractors collecting household garbage routinely and putting in some extra collection tanks because of the – high levels of that garbage which we wanted to be kept separate from the debris. The household garbage is buried separately; metals and construction debris are also kept separate; and in the case of green waste, there has been an awful lot of bush, fallen trees, etc going to the landfill.

“We usually have about 30-35 metric tons of household and construction waste in Anguilla coming through our gate daily before the hurricane. But that amount has risen by at least an additional 20-30 metric tons. That’s how much is coming through, but that will fall off considerably once the clean-ups are slowing down.”

Ms. Rogers continued: “We have a request for proposals for our waste collections. Once that has been completed, we will be looking at a request for proposals to manage the landfill site which will be issued very shortly. After that, there is also going to be a similar request for proposals to manage the metals. We will be making sure that there is somebody who can compact metals and export them so that we can free up some space at the landfill. That will be an opportunity for a business, or an individual, to partner with somebody who has compacting equipment so that we can export some of the metal.”
“Is there a particular market where this metal can be exported?” Ms Rogers was asked.

“Predominantly, for metals, the market is Asia but the price for aluminium and steel fluctuates greatly. There is an awful lot of material at the landfill site, anyway, irrespective of all the additional galvanize and broken vehicles etc. now coming. It is possible for all of this material to be exported to Asia but, of course, it would need to go through the correct procurement process to make sure we get the best value for money. That is, not just the individual or business – the winner of the bidding process – but for the Government to get the best value for money with respect to export fees and any other benefits by offering that service. The material for export can be recycled. It doesn’t necessarily have to be exported to Asia as there may be closer markets. The price of steel and recycled metals fluctuates daily, but at present the best prices are in Asia.”

“By Asia, do you mean the Chinese,”? Ms. Rogers was questioned.

“Basically yes,” she stated. “The Chinese import a lot of recycled metal and want a lot of it as they operate many steel industries. They manufacture a lot of things from recycled materials.”

Asked how the metal waste is handled at the landfill, Ms. Rogers explained: “It is simply crushed and compacted to make space for the additional material coming in. The sooner we get the request for proposals issued and finalised, the sooner we may get an individual or a business in Anguilla partnering with somebody with [further] crushing equipment to export the material.”

The English-trained Principal Environmental Officer, a national of Anguilla, continued: “Green bush at the moment is crushed, but not covered. It is basically being piled up. It is rotting down and will eventually turn into compost. It is quite a long process at the moment but it can be speeded up by chopping it up more finely. We are also looking to construct some area, within the site, that will mix the green waste with the effluent from septic tanks which will make compost far more efficiently. That will come out with the request for proposals for the management of the landfill site very shortly. We cover household waste – the waste that you would ordinarily put in the green community bins. That gets covered because it would generate flies and rats would love it.”

Ms. Rogers added: “As an Environment Health Unit, we are looking at making sure that we are doing recycling thus minimising our waste; and increasing the volume and capacity of our landfill site thus increasing its longevity.”

By anguillian October 30, 2017 10:28 Updated


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