PHILIPSBURG–The new cement-based alternative daily cover (ADC) to be used at the dump is a quick-fix, not a long-term solution, said former operations manager of Robelto and Sons BV Leroy La Paix.
Speaking to The Daily Herald on Tuesday, La Paix said the ADC is useful for stopping the emission of smoke coming from the landfill. However, he noted this does not take into consideration new garbage coming into the dump.
According to La Paix, if new garbage is placed on top of the areas sprayed with the ADC, then the activities of heavy machinery at the landfill will cause breaks and ruptures in the cover material, necessitating more costly ADC applications.
“This product [ADC – Ed.] goes on and stays on for one year, but you can’t touch it anymore, because it is cement-based. So, once it’s sealed and you put garbage on that and you drive the compactor on top of that, you are going to break the seal… What about the garbage that comes in every day? You still going to continue the same way: compacting, pushing, and covering with dirt,” La Paix said, adding that this product should only be used as a final measure, when certain areas of the landfill will not be utilised in the future.
To La Paix, a solution is “knowing what we are going to do with the garbage.”
He proposes the use of an air burner – an incinerator that burns waste material – to deal with incoming garbage.
According to La Paix, air burners would generate little smoke as the unit uses an air curtain blowing over the top of the incineration compartment to contain smoke and heat. When used in combination with waste separation and recycling as much as 90 per cent of new waste would be eliminated, he said.
Some of the newer air burners have tracks which makes it easy to relocate and the incineration compartments can be tilted to safely remove ash and residue.
Four air burners would be needed to process the quantity of St. Maarten’s waste products, La Paix said. Costing about US $550,000 per burner, this method of waste management would have a start-up cost of $2.2 million.
Robelto and Sons BV was the landfill’s management company from January 2016 to December 2018. In May 2018, then-Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI Minister Miklos Giterson began the process to “amicably terminate” government’s contract with the waste management company, citing the latter’s inability to properly manage and secure the constantly burning dump.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/90562-fire-suppression-materials-is-not-a-long-term-solution