Solid waste, sewers allocated $1.6B

About $1.6 billion is to be spent during 2014 to improve solid waste and sewer management in and around Georgetown.

Minister of Finance Dr Ashni Singh, during his budget presentation speech on Monday revealed that allocations have been made to expend $544.6m to complete the sewer system in Greater George-town. Work will also be done to the sewer outfall in Georgetown and the sewerage pumping station at Tucville. Last year $546.5 million was expended to rehabilitate sewer systems and revamp 24 pumping stations, the minister said.

Meantime, $1.1 billion is provided for this year to offset civil work and for operational expenses at Haags Bosch, Eccles, East Bank Demerara. BK International was awarded the $3.7 billion landfill site in 2010. Since its completion though, there have seen several complications.

Residents of Eccles, where the landfill is located, have complained that the foul odours emanating from the site are unbearable. BK International, which was also contracted to operate the site, has said that the smell became an issue due to the higher than anticipated daily intake on garbage at the site, and the difficulties associated with carrying out the necessary processes on the extra waste.

In July of 2012, the site’s former Project Manager, Walter Willis, had said that the site was taking in around 350 tonnes of waste per day. It was designed to cater for 250.

By October of the same year incoming waste was double the limit, according to officials from BK International. Willis had said that if garbage keeps coming in at the rate it was the lifespan of the landfill would be reduced.

Haags Bosch is to have four cells, each of which is supposed to have a life-span of ten years. He continued that the lifespan of cell one, which is currently being used, could be cut by two to three years if such high levels of waste intake are maintained. It should be noted that only one of the four intended cells have been built to  date.

The Minister of Local Government has said that steps will be taken to alleviate the strain being put on Haags Bosch. Such measures, the ministry shared, include the construction of a separate landfill site to service Region No. 3.

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