Government still do not have sufficient garbage bins for several areas but garbage collection under control.
PHILIPSBURG:— Management of Robelto and Sons B.V., Leroy Lapaix has decided to set the records straight once more after seeing several Facebook posts since the last two fires on the landfill. Lapaix said his company started to manage the landfill four months ago, since then there were two fires, the first started on April 14th and lasted four days before it was under total control, while the second fire started on Monday around 11am and by 8pm it was under control.
Lapaix said he heard stories where politicians are saying he under-bid, thus his company won the bid and because of the small amount of monies he will be receiving from government he will never be able to do a good job. “I want to make clear that when Windward Roads had the contract I worked as a subcontractor for that company, besides that there were only two contractors that bid on the landfill management, Robelto and Sons B.V. and Windward Roads. Our company won the bid because of two things, our bid was lower, and secondly I have the necessary experience.”
Lapaix said they have saved government NAF. 4M for the management of the landfill but there are a few things people need to know, his company is not paid to sort garbage, instead they are being paid to manage the landfill by maintaining the landfill through pushing the garbage, compacting it and covering it with filth. However, during his investigations after the two recent fires they found a number of flares on the dump which he said is igniting the fire. “We are not being paid to sort garbage or to dig through the garbage to see if there are flammable materials among the garbage that was collected and dumped on the landfill.”
The flammable materials that is being dumped on the landfill is beyond our control and such photos of the flares that were found were sent to the department of VROMI so that they could investigate who exactly are disposing of such items on the landfill.
Lapaix described the landfill as a small volcano, he said fires are constantly burning on the landfill because there is a large amount of methane gas on the landfill. Besides that the entire edge of the landfill is cracked and there is fire constantly underneath.
Lapaix said the lifespan of the landfill expired, he said based on the information he gathered, the landfill on Pond Island started in 1974 and it was only supposed to be there for a few years. Another huge problem Lapaix said is that the garbage on St. Maarten is increasing every year and the filth they are supposed to provide to cover the landfill is not enough. “Right now government has decided to provide additional sand to cover the landfill to contain the fire.
Lapaix further explained that based on research he learned a few things, one being the best thing to contain the methane gas on the landfill is to leave it burn, “this might sound weird or strange because fires are dangerous but in the case of landfills it is the best thing that could help contain methane gas. Lapaix said since the landfill is in the middle of town they are forced to put out the fire by covering it and that is when it begins to smoke, and that smoke is indeed dangerous.
He said in his discussions with the department of VROMI he insisted that government has to start some sort of campaign to create awareness so people could start recycling. This he said is the only way to decrease the amount of garbage.
When asked if he thinks his company was given a fair chance, Lapaix said he started to manage the landfill four months now and there were two fires. “When the former contractor was managing the landfill I never heard any Minister or politician make any public calls to review the contract. When asked if he believes he is targeted because he is a local businessman, Lapaix said he does not want to go that far because he has a good relationship with Windward Roads. However, he did say that he believes that the attacks and critics on social media are all political, even the statements made by certain politicians. “I know this is an election year and yes people will use every situation to campaign but they will leave out the important details.” Lapaix said that one of the newspapers had a photo showing a garbage truck dumping garbage while it was on fire, Lapaix said that photograph was taken from a distance with a long lens. He said that garbage trucks are not allowed to go on top of the landfill instead they are dumping on another part of the landfill. He said even the fire trucks are not allowed to go up on the landfill because they fear damaging the equipment. He asked how is it possible for any garbage truck to be dumping garbage on a landfill while its on fire?
Garbage collection under control — Government still has to order suitable garbage bins.
As for the collection of garbage, Lapaix said the first couple of days when his company started off in Cay Hill, St. Peters and South Reward area it was a total disaster because the former contractor did not collect garbage for at least three days prior to the ending of their contract. This he said caused a severe backlog and to date not one politician ever said anything about that. Lapaix said the Minister of VROMI said a number of times he will hire a new contractor at his company’s expense but to date the Ministry of VROMI cannot provide suitable garbage bins. He said the bins that are on the roads right now belong to him, and some of them he had to make hurriedly because the former contractor removed his bins. “Government has some small bins and its not suitable for garbage collection, when I saw the disaster, I made garbage bins out of 20-feet containers, I did not have time to paint them, it was an emergency alternative because government does not have the bins that are needed, they are in the process of buying those bins now, and while people are saying so much about the makeshift bins they are working very well because there is no garbage on the street where those containers are placed.
Lapaix said that in every area there is an increase in the amount of garbage and so far he does have the picking up of garbage under control.
Source: St. Martin News Network
EXCLUSIVE: Flammable materials such as flares are being dumped on the Landfill — Despite the hundreds of fires over the last year Government never reviewed the contract of the former contractor that managed the landfill.