|Let’s shake on it: Prime Minister Freundel Stuart (left) congratulates??Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe at the opening ceremony. (A. Miller/BGIS)??|
The just commissioned Cell 4 at the Mangrove Pond Landfill is not a stand-alone operation, but a critical part of an integrated system designed to reduce and remove the use of landfilling in Barbados.
Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, made this assertion on Sunday as he addressed the official opening ceremony of the new cell at the Central Cricket Ground in Vaucluse, St. Thomas.
Dr. Lowe made it clear that due to the island’s small land space it was simply unsustainable to continue building landfills around Barbados.
"Today [Sunday], you are witnessing the beginning of the transition from traditional landfilling to a modernised, technologically designed, sustainable waste management system," he said.
He explained that sustainable development of Small Island Developing States was at the heart of the global conversation on the viability and sustainability of planet earth.
Furthermore, Dr. Lowe pointed out that Barbados represented a key voice in the global conversation, and fully embraced the driving principles of the three pillars of sustainable development – economic, social and environmental growth.
As a result, the Minister said Government had a vision to develop a modernised system of waste management that would allow for the removal of waste from households and have it converted into energy.
??"Our energy consumption in Barbados is exorbitant. We have a gluttonous attitude and appetite for energy. Therefore, it is in our best interest to ensure that we find alternative methods of generating energy to save some of the energy costs we are currently expending," he said.
Cell 4 was designed by consultants R. J. Burnside International and constructed by contractors C.O. Williams Limited, and is expected to treat 400 cubic metres of waste water daily.
Staff at the Mangrove Pond Landfill are operating the cell which started receiving waste from Monday.
??Assistant Manager of Engineering at the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), Shawn Phillips, explained that the staff were exposed to some training with respect to the technical requirements, and noted that further training would be undertaken to ensure that the operations of the facility were in compliance with the regulatory authorities.
Cell 4, once used as a quarry, is 100 feet below ground level, and was originally designed to accommodate 1 000 tonnes of waste per day, with a lifespan of 9.2 years.
However, Mr. Phillips said that time could be extended due to a reduction of waste going to the landfill as some was being diverted through the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre.