The current method can compromise and threaten our health and environment.
On Tuesday, November 15, 2022, I had Hon. John Phillips as the guest speaker on Financially Speaking. Our discussion was about the solid waste management, and I want to use this article to pen some of the points discussed on the show.
First, let me say this, for years now we have been trying to deal with the solid waste management particularly the dump sites. It is my understanding that a study is being conducted by CDB. However, I am quite sure previous studies were done on waste management, so I don’t get why we are doing this again. Some may argue that the previous studies may be outdated and therefore requires updating.
Anyway, time is of essence as the longer we take to deal with managing the solid waste, the more our health and environment may be impacted.
According to Hon. John Phillips, the current method of burying solid waste will negatively impact the environment and the toxic waste will contaminate the water table and soil thus impacting our health because we may ultimately consume that toxic waste.
A recommended solution – Pyrolysis system
In a pyrolysis system, the waste is not burned and buried but rather the waste is converted to viable products such as biodiesel, gas, agricultural carbon and active carbon. The products from the glass and construction waste are converted to concrete panels and cinder blocks. With pyrolysis system, there will be nothing to bury, all the waste will be converted for other uses.
It was also recommended that there will be one pyrolysis system on the island of Providenciales and then on a monthly basis, the waste from the other islands are transported to Providenciales to be processed by the pyrolysis system.
The cost and benefits.
It is estimated that the cost of such a system may be approximately $20million. This may seem a lot of money, but we are currently spending more than $4million a year on waste management. If we invest in a system such as a pyrolysis system, the country will benefit in the long run not only from not having to spend $4 million a year but the returns from the byproducts are very beneficial. For instance, the biodiesel can be used as fuel in marine. The gas can also be used as a cheap source of power, and we will not have to depend totally on fuel from abroad which is very expensive.
Furthermore, a major benefit is that we can alleviate the health of our environment and the people because this process will not bury any toxic waste. In addition, all the old tires and vehicles can be used and not remained in areas causing acids, lead and other toxics to seep into the ground.
Financing of the Project
This project can be funded entirely by the Government. However, the Government may have many other priorities with its funds and so a Public Private Partnership may be ideal way to finance this project. We should encourage residents to participate in becoming shareholders in such a project and maybe this will also encourage more residents to be more engaged and caring about waste management if they are shareholders.
I know there may not be one right answer to deal with the waste management but for too long now, people had to endure this current unhealthy method of dealing with the waste. We see so many people are getting ill, and we don’t know why. I don’t know if people are getting sick from the dump sites but based on this article, the current method can pose the threat to the health of individuals. If we are aware that such a threat exists, then we need to seek alternatives means of managing the waste.
My understanding it is that proposals such as this has been presented to this government as well as successive governments. Let us not waste our time, money and energy on more studies.