Solid waste transfer stations open up across country
The ghastly dump site at the eastern entrance of the City has been transformed into a transfer station for waste that is produced in homes, businesses, factories and just about everywhere. After consolidating the waste and separating recyclable materials, the next step will be to transfer the garbage to another site at mile twenty-four for disposal. The new system for waste management and disposal which took years to come to fruition was launched today to promote public health as well as sound environmental practices. News Five’s Jose Sanchez has a report.
A few years ago, Belize City was regularly covered in the stench and darkness from soot rising from the burning garbage dump. The toxins and the garbage are no longer a mountainous heap of debris that once spilled into the sea or the highway. The mile three and a half facility has a clean road and is now a transfer station for garbage.
Dion Leslie, City Councillor
“The opening of this transfer station marks a very important milestone. It is the realization of a concept started over 20 years ago. A step in the right direction for our city. This compliments the vision of our mayor, and of the City Council. And in making Belize City the envy of all other municipalities in the country, and someplace we are proud to call home.”
According to the Director of the Solid Waste Management Authority, the transfer station is to consolidate smaller loads of garbage into a larger load for economic and efficient transportation to a sanitary landfill at mile 24.
Gilroy Lewis, Director, Solid Waste Management Authority
“The trucks that collect the garbage in the city would come to the transfer station, enter the facility and dump their load on the tipping floor. Then they leave and go back to their collection route.”
In the absence of a transfer station, the collection vehicles would have to go all the way to the sanitary landfill and return.
“Just imagine how costly, so the transfer is a cost saving facility. Now coming back to the transfer station how it actually operates, once the garbage have been dumped to the tipping floor, we will have some workers that will be inside the building and pick up recyclables on the floor. Once those are recovered, then the residual garbage will be picked up by a front end loader, and it will be loaded through the chute into the transfer trailer parked adjacent building itself. When the transfer trailer is filled it will hauled to mile 24 sanitary landfill for an environmentally sound disposal.”
The group that runs the operation bid nine million to design and build the various facilities. There is also a cost of about sixty seven Belize dollars per metric ton when it reaches the landfill. Balers at the transfer stations are used for separating income generating garbage or recyclables.
“That baler will be used to bale those recyclables. Whether those be pet bottles or HDP bottles or paper or whatever the case may be. Now once the material is baled then we have the storage areas over there where baled paper is going to be stored here under the roof and the bale pet bottles, the HDP bottles glass bottles and so on would be stored and stored to recycling dealers.”
“What’s the cost of running the facility. Do you foresee a profit? Or just to cover the cost that has been sown?”
“Basically as I have mentioned earlier in my speech the whole contract is a design build, operate contract. The operate portion is for eight years. And then I have indicated that it’s one firm PASA Belize limited that will provide the services to operate, haul and environmentally sound disposal of the waste once it reaches the landfill.
Reporting for News 5, Jose Sanchez.
There are transfer stations in San Pedro, Caye Caulker, Belize City, and in San Ignacio. All the garbage from each station is eventually transferred to the landfill at mile twenty-four on George Price Highway. In Wednesday’s newscast, we will have a report on that new facility.
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