June 2, 2006

$6m. needed for Union Island Solid Waste fix

Six million dollars is needed to solve the ongoing solid waste problem in Union Island.

For many years residents have complained about the location of the island’s landfill. The landfill, located a stone’s throw from the airport is a definite eyesore, highly inappropriate for an island whose bread and butter is tourism.

Adding to the unsavory mix is the inadequate soil cover at the landfill resulting in the birdlike flight of the garage whenever a strong wind blows. Add the stench from dumped seafood, mix in the accompanying flies and there it is!{{more}}

Solid Waste Management Unit’s manager Winsbert Quow told SEARCHLIGHT recently that although the Grenadines Solid Waste Project study, funded by the European Union and the Government, was done a year ago, the problem that exists now is funding to implement the findings and recommendations of the study. The study was conducted between January and October last year.

“Plans are in place, we are ready but it is not a project that the Solid Waste Unit can undertake on its own, we are seeking funding for the project,” stated Quow. Work is currently being done on the acquisition of lands in the Campbell community for a new land fill.

Quow told SEARCHLIGHT that a new landfill is just part of the comprehensive solid waste management plan for the island. Inclusive in the plan is the purchase of an Invessel Composer which is able to recycle food waste and green waste into reusable compost.

Quow is however advising hotel and restaurant owners in Union Island to change their disposal practices in the meantime to assist with the problem. He suggested that a simple adjustment like taking the waste from lobsters back out to sea rather than dumping them in the current landfill will go a long way towards controlling the flies.

Residents are also advised to place plastic plates and similar items in garbage bags before disposing them at the landfill. “If we work together we can manage the problem while we work on the permanent solution,” reasoned Quow.