ENVIRONMENTAL Community Health Organisation (Echo) has expressed concern over smoke and other nuisances from the old landfill site off Nelson Mandela Avenue in Georgetown.
In a press statement, Echo said residents in communities contiguous to the site have been complaining to them that they are worried about the situation. Echo is therefore of the view that during the operation to cover the site by Puran Bros, there were smoldering fires deep beneath the surface that were not treated.
This situation is exacerbated by methane and crakes which allow air below the surface, and Echo said it believes that it is necessary for the competent authorities to investigate the entire site and to begin to treat with the below surface- fires to prevent the nuisance.
The other problem is the possible pollution of the area by the methane emitting from the vents placed at the site.
“Methane is 21 times more lethal than carbon dioxide. Although the organisation did not carry out any test to verify the level of emission, there can be no doubt that current emission is polluting those neighbouring communities,” Echo said.
As a result, the organisation is calling on the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to carry out relevant inspections and tests to verify exactly what is happening in that particular area and to recommend the way forward to secure the integrity of the environment and local communities.
Also, Echo is calling on the Council, Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development and the EPA to move swiftly to arrest the massive garbage crisis facing the nation, particularly in the capital city.
“The increasing number of rubbish heaps in the city is providing breeding places for flies, roaches, rodents and other nuisances. It is affecting the public health of the local communities and residents. There appear to be three contributing factors: the restrictive hours of the Haag Bosch landfill site; Monday-Saturday 7:00a.m- 5:00 p.m., Sundays and Holidays- 8:00 a.m. – 1 p.m; the distance to and from the landfill site, its 16 miles, add to that traffic congestion and other challenges that impede the movement of the collection trucks to the facility; and finally, the high level of lawlessness and indiscipline in our society, with illegal dumping and littering happening in every community.
“Echo believes that the solution to this problem is the establishment of a transfer station. This will encourage citizens to dump their garbage in one place and simultaneously function as a regulatory value to flow with the rhythm of the landfill site. Also, stakeholders need to work together to protect and preserve the environment,” the release stated.