Government looks into claims of purposely set dump fires

POND ISLAND–Government, in particular the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment and Infrastructure VROMI, is “investigating” claims circulating in the community about some fires on the dump being purposely set by fire-starters.

VROMI Minister Christophe Emmanuel said on Wednesday he believes an official complaint should be filed with the Prosecutor’s Office to spark an investigation into the fire-starter talk. Asked why a complaint has not yet been filed with the police, Emmanuel said, “We are investigating.”

The Minister said he was not quick to react after last week’s fires, because “next week it will be on fire again. There is no time the landfill is not on fire.”

Via the constant fires, Emmanuel said, “The dump is telling not to put anymore garbage on me … we put everything on the dump.”

There are some 20,000 shipping pallets on the dump along with some 60,000 tires.

Government has asked several persons operating on the dump to vacate the area to make land available for waste management solutions. Some 10,000 square metres of land is back in the hands of Government, he said.

One piece of equipment to be purchased to reduce the number of items on the dump is a crusher for tires, concrete and other solids. The 200,000 euros machine is one step, he said.

People need to be ready to pay a garbage fee, he noted, adding that solutions are costly.

He is in talks with a number of companies to remove everything from vehicle wrecks to sorting garbage.

Prime Minister William Marlin also spoke about hearing talk about fires being set wilfully on the dump.

He maintained that finding a solution for the dump has Government’s attention. “The entire Government is on board with fixing the dump,” he said.

Promoting recycling is one way both Marlin and Emmanuel have brought forward as a way to reduce the amount of garbage on the dump. Marlin said he has been promoting the use of the recycling bins across from Blue Point in Philipsburg to his family and friends.

Source: The Daily Herald