By Hermisha Rolle, Staff reporter
The Dominica Solid Waste Management Corporation (DSWMC) is confident that an initiative to ship recycable materials to California will reduce the volume of waste disposed at the Fond Cole Sanitary Landfill by up to 30 percent.
On Thursday, the DSWMC signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Californian recycling firm, Muller Concepts for the transporting of recyclable solid waste from Dominica.
Speaking at the contract-signing in the Ministry of Housing conference room, Public Relations Officer for the DSWMC and Recycling Coordinator Jeno Jacobs said that Muller Concepts will engage in recycling all plastic, cardboard, paper and scrap metal from Dominica.
“For us recycling is the way forward; [it] is the new move for us … we have been looking for external partners to work with us to remove recyclable items like plastic, tins, bottles, paper, cardboard, derelict vehicles, scrap metal from what we call the waste stream. And the waste stream is the garbage that comes from the urban communities, the rural communities … to the landfill. We are hoping that this volume of garbage through recycling will be cut by 30%,” he said.
Jacobs said that this venture will help promote Dominica as an eco-tourism destination, and maintain a healthy nation.
Head of Muller Concepts, Grenadian Lynthia Muller told the press conference that her company is expected to help create space for waste at the landfill and a clean environment.
According to her, a future plan for her would be to produce a manufacturing plant that recycles glass into tiles and vases, among other things.
Muller said that most of the recycle material will be shipped to China, though there are markets in Taiwan, Turkey and major countries. She is hoping to ship materials on a weekly basis.
She noted that a challenge facing the project is getting residents to separate the different materials from their home.
Meanwhile, General Manager of the DSWMC Anthony Scotland stated that Fond Cole landfill has been filling rapidly.
Although it was estimated that the landfill would have taken 15 years to fill, based on the progress of waste dumping this may not be so, Scotland recognised. He said however, the Muller Concepts project will reduce the amount of solid waste gathered at the area.
Scotland said that under the project the DSWMC will be responsible for sorting out and storing the waste at the Fond Cole landfill. The corporation will also engage in sensitizing the public on the benefits of the proper collection and separating of waste items.
A pilot program to educate persons on the proper collection of waste is expected to be launched in the Bath Estate/Elmshall area.
According to Scotland, 4000 blue boxes will be distributed to houses in those communities, so persons can begin storage at home. Scotland said that collection begins from May 10 from 5 p.m. and will continue fortnightly afterward.
After the proper procedures are taken, the Corporation will load the waste items into containers provided by Muller Concepts.
Muller will be responsible for paying the port charges and help with educating citizens about the project. The company will be provided with a vehicle to transport the recyclable items and will be provided with two employees to sort out waste in the initial stage.
Scotland also took the opportunity to mentioned several other recycling initiatives that the DSWMC are currently undertaking, including the shipping of acid batteries to Trinidad. They are also exploring ways to get rid of used oil in the environment, which Scotland views as very dangerous to the public’s health.
“We are now putting a system in place to getting the hazardous waste out of the environment,” he added.
The Solid Waste Corporation is already working with Benjo’s Seamoss in exporting clear, green and brown glass bottles to Trinidad.