SINT MAARTEN (POND ISLAND) – Hours after giving a presentation on the Philipsburg Dumpsite, Minister of VROMI Christopher Wever foiled what appears to be an attempt by unknown person(s) to start a new dump fire.
Many persons in the Philipsburg area including Minister Wever who was driving along the Walter Nisbeth Road in Philipsburg around 6:30 pm on Saturday spotted the flare in the sky before it landed at the Dumpsite.
Wever, who is the Minister of Public Housing, Physical Planning, Environment and Infrastructure (VROMI) and responsible for the upkeep of the Philipsburg Dumpsite quickly sprang into action and drove to the Dumpsite to investigate. While on his way, the Minister alerted the authorities of what he had just witnessed.
Upon reaching the landfill, the Minister and the supervisor of the company who secures the landfill searched to find the flare, which was still burning at the time. The Minister and supervisor of the security company were able to use buckets of water to dispose of the flare properly. They did so to avoid a major fire outbreak, which was the likely intent of the person who shot it into the air just moments before.
The Philipsburg Dumpsite has been a cause of concern throughout the community for a very long time. Besides the Philipsburg Dumpsite being “an eyesore” since it sits in the centre of Philipsburg, the Dutch St. Maarten Capital, there have been numerous dumpsite fires over the past few years, in particular, some of which many felt were malicious.
Wever said, Sunday “We will find a permanent solution for the waste disposal needs on our island, but these malicious act of lighting the dumpsite are counterproductive to our efforts,”
Wever issued a call for an investigation to determine who fired the flare gun into the Dumpsite.