Landfill fire under control

A small fire reportedly set by copper burners on Sunday afternoon in the rotting garbage at the Mandela landfill is under control but residents in the surrounding areas are still coping with acrid, black smoke from the site.

When Stabroek News visited yesterday, a fire engine was observed coming out of the Le Repentir entrance but one could not see more that a few feet ahead.

Residents on the southern side were enduring the brunt of the smoke. Those in North East La Penitence, La Penitence, Laing Avenue and East and West Ruimveldt were also made to endure the undesirable condition. Even those attending a funeral service at New Haven Funeral Parlour were smoked out.

Mayor of Georgetown Hamilton Green told this newspaper that the fire is under control and the main suspects are the copper burners who frequent the site looking for the metal.

He said that in light of this latest incident, measures have been put in place to keep them out.

Sunday’s fire is the second for the year at the Mandela site. In April, a small fire reportedly set by a drug addict erupted into a huge inferno subjecting residents around that area to intense smoke and an unpleasant odour.

Deputy Mayor of Georgetown Robert Williams when asked about the unauthorized persons who frequent the site to search for valuables and in some instances light small fires, said that security at the site will be increased to keep out unauthorized persons.

According to him, the scavengers who separate the waste materials into plastics and metals will be given name tags and several city constables will be posted to ensure that unauthorized persons do not enter the site.

The methane gas produced from the rotting garbage ignites easily and due to this a very small fire can erupt into a big blaze in a short space of time. Residents on several occasions had expressed concerns over the lack of security at the site and the fact that copper burners can start small fires and get away with it.

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