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No Intention To Move City Dump Despite Fire Risk

By SANCHESKA BROWN

Tribune Staff Reporter

sbrown@tribunemedia.net

MINISTER of the Environment Kendred Dorsett yesterday said the government has no intention on relocating the city dump – despite the fire hazard it has become over the past decade.

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Kenred Dorsett

Speaking to The Tribune, Mr Dorsett admitted the dump is a vexing issue but he said the government plans to address it in the next budgetary cycle.

“We are not moving it. It is not in our plan. It is an ongoing issue and we have had these problems with the landfill for decades. I am hoping in this budgetary cycle we will be able to effectively put in the financial resources and the team to address this vexing issue once and for all,” he said.

“With that said, the landfill remediation is going to be top of my agenda going into this budgetary cycle and I will speak to that very clearly to the Bahamian people in this upcoming budget.

“I don’t think that the landfill is going to be relocated but in previous communications, you’ve heard me talk about the transformation of the landfill into a green park. So we’re going to talk about a proper recycling materials facility, landfill remediation, and the possibility of ‘waste to energy’ being a by-product of what we do there.”

Yesterday, firefighters were still struggling to get a handle on a fire at the city dump, which has been smouldering since Friday.

Fire Chief Walter Evans said the challenge is that the flames are being fuelled beneath the surface by a variety of highly flammable materials, including propane tanks, cardboard and cloth.

“Because of the depth of the fire,” he said, “heavy duty machines are needed to get below the surface, at least three to four or more feet.

“Had we been dealing with a surface fire, we would have already extinguished it and there would be no worries, but this thing is burning beneath.”

Early last year, fire officials were faced with the same challenge at the dump and urged residents to seek medical assistance as soon as possible if they experienced breathing problems, headaches, vomiting, nausea or unusual fatigue.

Comments

carlh57 6 years, 3 months ago

Mr. Dorsett, here is something for your education: In a report published by Waste Management World (leading waste company the the world), they emphatically state (and i am quoting directly from their report below):

"Atmospheric emissions from landfill fires are often dismissed as a nuisance. The following are two examples of just how serious the ‘nuisance’ is: Dioxin emissions: (remember the Bhopal disasterr?) The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) considers that for the foreseeable future, non-industrial, uncontrolled combustion, mainly comprised of landfill fires and illegal barrel burning, will remain the most significant source of persistant organic pollutants (POPs) in the form of polychlorinated dibenzo-p-dioxins (PCCDs) and polychlorinated dibenzofurans (PCCFs) in Europe (Thornton, 2002). Gases and Vapors: landfill fires emit a toxic cocktail of ‘Most Wanted’ fugitive gases including formaldehyde, hydrogen cyanide, hydrogen sulfide, nitrogen oxides and many others (OEPA, 2006). Visible smoke might not be visible since compacted waste acts as a good particulate filter, but fugitive gases are able to percolate towards the surface. Emitted smoke is a hazard and has resulted in the imposition of Civil Aviation Authority ‘no-fly’ zones. A particular problem with smoke, which is largely unburned carbon, is particles that have become activated, in the form of an adsorbent, with a huge appetite for mopping-up ‘most wanted’ contaminants. Very small particles, known as Sub PM2.5s (smaller than 2.5 millionths of a meter in diameter) are capable of remaining airborne for days, and together with adsorbed contaminants will pass directly into the bloodstream once inhaled."

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