Better solid waste management needed – Dharamlall

…as Cell 2 at Haags-Bosch landfill is commissioned

Sustainable management of solid waste is needed in Guyana to cater to the impending transformation that is about to take shape and new materials that will enter the disposal network.

Garbage being dumped at Cell 2 of the Haags-Bosch landfill

This position was taken by Local Government and Region Development Minister, Nigel Dharamlall, after cell two was commissioned at the Haags-Bosch landfill site – catering for 450 tonnes of garbage per day.
As part of their responsibility, it was indicated that solid waste contractors should ensure that their operations are sustainably managed and enable a clean environment since industrial waste is on the rise. It was added that Government has also been approached by the companies within the petroleum sector to have their waste disposed of correctly, signalling the need for diversified approaches.
“We are transforming our country massively…so there is going to be massive transformation. Industrial waste is now becoming quite significant so we would have to start thinking about the diversification of waste disposal. We have commercial and household waste so the country is growing and I think the sector has to grow to meet the changes in dynamics.”
He added, “It also means that the different sectors of our economy are growing. It also means that people are enhancing their infrastructure…I think the biggest challenge for us in Guyana is the way garbage is managed. We have a sore problem in our country where I think people still don’t take this issue seriously.”
Nevertheless, Dharamlall lauded the completed project as a step in the right direction, given the increased magnitude of generated waste in the country. The new cell was designed to sustain solid waste dumping at the facility for another seven years.
After cell one had almost reached its optimum capacity, a $290 million contract for cell two was awarded in 2019 to S Jagmohan Hardware Supplies and Construction Services. Now, capacity at the landfill has been boosted to support the influx of waste that is generated.
“The original design was for 150 tonnes of garbage per day. We’ve now exceeded that. We’re touching 450 tonnes and this is just the measured waste that comes into this facility. Across the country, we have a lot of waste being disposed. A lot of waste is being generated. That could be a good thing, meaning that development is taking place in our country.”
Meanwhile, the Minister also zeroed in on Government’s intention to expand the power grid by converting generated waste produced in the country into energy. He explained that proposals are being examined currently to move ahead with a suitable project.
“For us as a Government, I think that even whilst we’re collecting and disposing of solid waste, we also have to make a business out of it. We’ve had a lot of expressions of interest in converting waste to energy. The proposals that were looking at, we would like to look at expanding the energy network of our country and companies that could convert waste to energy,” Dharamlall outlined.
Last month, GO-Invest Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Dr Peter Ramsaroop had pointed towards this initiative as one that had registered significant investor interest.
Waste to energy projects involve plants that burn solid waste and generate electricity. According to Ramsaroop, this can be considered a form of renewable energy. He also explained that when it comes to opportunities for waste to energy, both local and foreign investors have expressed an interest.
Last December, it was announced that a United States (US)-based company called the Hoskinson Group had held talks with the Government of Guyana and Private Sector officials to develop a waste to energy project locally.
The company had announced that it was conducting a feasibility study and would be submitting a proposal to the authorities for consideration. Among the agencies the company held discussions with are GO-Invest, the Guyana Energy Agency (GEA), the Guyana Power and Light (GPL) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). A tour was also done of the Haags Bosch landfill on the East Bank of Demerara. (G12)