PHILIPSBURG – On Monday July 17th, the Sanitary Landfill, much more commonly referred to as “The Dump”, caught fire once again. The fire was somewhat contained in the course of Monday but flared up again yesterday afternoon with heavy smoke covering a large section of Philipsburg and surrounding areas.
One of the locations heavily affected by the toxic smoke was L.B. Scott Sports Auditorium. The smoke filled the popular sport hall with a sickening stench much to the dismay of the players and spectators of the ‘Fittest of the Rock’ basketball tournament which hosted local, regional as international teams. Not a healthy environment, to say the least, for any athlete to compete in.
The last time the Minister of VROMI, Angel Meyers, communicated about the Dump situation and possible solutions being worked on dates back from May. Since then it has remained rather quiet on what residents of St. Maarten can expect in terms of a viable solution being agreed on, a contract being signed, an operational time frame and what measures the Ministry is taking to minimize the Dump fires in the meantime.
Also the residents of St. Maarten are awaiting any recycling initiatives being proposed by Government, such as the placement of separate garbage containers for plastic, glass, cardboard waste in all the districts so residents can make a serious effort in minimizing the amount of garbage going to the landfill by separating their garbage and incorporating recycling in their daily habits.
Also the Terms of Reference, which each garbage hauling contractor needs to abide by, includes a provision that states to have at least 2 recycling bins placed in each of the 8 districts on St. Maarten (“paragraph 2.4.4 that each parcel (8 of them) will have at least 2 recyclable waste collection points and that recyclable waste should be collected at least once a week”, according to a well informed source).
It would show real commitment when Government enforces this provision in order to make a consolidated effort in providing the means for the community to start recycling which will minimize waste going to the Dump.