St. Maarten signs MOU for waste to energy

GREAT BAY—St. Maarten authorities may have finally found a way to address the waste disposal problem at the landfill. Minister of VROMI Christopher Emmanuel announced yesterday that the government has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with a company willing to undertake the cost of performing waste to energy with garbage generated on the island and from the landfill.

“We have reached to the stage where they will be dealing with the garbage problem, not just the energy part of it,” the minister said. He said currently, the company is reviewing a concession and power purchasing agreement and plans to go forward with the dump and the garbage problem on the island. “We are looking at a hill (dump) that is 43 meters high, that was supposed to be 16 (meters)…and its climbing,” the minister said. He said while there have been no dump fires for over 100 days, it comes at a high cost to the country.

Minister Emmanuel, said he believes this solution has finally come about because the government is considering the greater benefit to the country. “It’s more of a commitment and country first instead of individual (desire). With this agreement everything is on the cost of the company. Nothing is on the cost of the government, on the people of St. Maarten,” Emmanuel said.

Emmanuel suggested despite this breakthrough deal, a permanent solution to the garbage situation on the island may take up to 15 to 20 years. “It took us 40 years to be where we are with this landfill and I am saying it will take us a least 15 to 20 years to bring it down to a suitable level,” he said.

Meanwhile, Minister Emmanuel cautioned the public that dumping of scrap metals and white goods in front the Bakker Property is not allowed. There are also designated areas for dumping car wrecks, white materials and concrete. “We have designated a position or spot on the landfill. When you drive in you will see a sign…concrete disposed (here), old car wrecks disposed, white material which are the fridges and stoves and microwaves, which are to be disposed in said location,” the minister explained. He expects that the wrecks that are in that location will be removed soon.

Source: TODAY