~ The Daily Herald – Editorial – Monday October 24, 2016 ~
They happen so often one almost doesn’t want to even discuss them anymore, were it not so annoying and unacceptable in this day and age: The frequent dump fires (see related story) are an outrage.
The latest one lasted practically the whole weekend. The Fire Department said Saturday morning that it was monitoring the blaze on Pond Island and the company responsible for the management of the landfill had been working diligently to get it under control, yet smoke could still be seen coming from “Mount Trash” up to Sunday evening.
At one point residents in areas downwind, including the Cul de Sac basin and Cole Bay, were also advised to close windows and doors because of the potentially damaging fumes, especially persons with respiratory difficulties like those suffering from asthma, shortness of breath, etc. That’s undoubtedly good advice, but for households without air-conditioning it can also be quite a challenge to do so for any length of time due to the heat, never mind the also-frequent GEBE power cuts.
A long-term solution for St. Maarten’s garbage dilemma has become more than urgent, yet successive governments don’t seem able to deal with the problem effectively despite long-standing plans for a waste-to-energy plant. Certainly with large-scale projects such as Pearl of China coming on line, this issue deserves the highest priority from both the incoming Parliament and Council of Ministers.
However, immediate measures that can improve the current situation also should be possible and were suggested recently. In fact, a review of the agreement with the contactor in charge of the facility was even mentioned to see whether that might have anything to do with it, also because it had been awarded for a considerably lower amount than the former arrangement.
However, the public rarely hears much about the results of such announced intentions except to once again be confronted with yet another smelly reminder of the local political authorities’ obvious continued incompetence regarding this matter.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/editorial/61116-smelly-reminder