City Hall to boost revenue with composting project
In its bid to increase revenue, the Georgetown Mayor and City Council (M&CC) will be undertaking a municipal composting project later this year.
The project, which should take off in early July is also aimed at reducing the wanton disposal of organic waste in the city and the expansion of the life of the Haags Bosch sanitary landfill.
It is being spearheaded by Sanitation Director at the Georgetown Municipality, Walter Narine with groundwork set to begin after the council’s 2017 budget is read and with approval from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
The project will initially target two municipal markets; Stabroek and Bourda and hopefully will be used as a model by the other municipalities in the very near future.
“When we would have examined the two markets, we realized that they generate on a daily basis, 25 metric tons of food waste. These are perishable cash crops which were not sold and the vendors would have discarded and tossed them out,” Narine explained.
He related that these are the types of waste that reach the landfill on a daily basis so the intention is to take 25 tons of waste and convert it into a municipal compost.
Narine revealed that the compost would then be marketed as manure/fertilizer at a minimal cost to the National Agricultural Research Extension Institute (NAREI) which is one of the primary targets, as well as to cash crop farmers. This will eliminate the use of pesticides in the crop sector.
Narine said that everyone stands to benefit should at least 30 percent of that waste be diverted from the landfill.
This will also reduce operational costs since moving organic waste to Haags Bosch stands at a monthly high of $1.2M.
Apart from the market waste, the compost will also include vegetation that grows on the road shoulders, sawdust, trimmed tree branches and weeds.
The raw material will be processed daily in a fenced area by municipal employees at the Princes Street facility. The project, in its initial phase, should provide employment for 25 persons from nearby communities to operate and manage the compost.
The compost is a six-week cycle. 70 metric tons of material will generate two cycles per year the global market is us$6 per pound. It will cost $28m is the capital investment while the potential returns in first year is $10m minus expenses.
The City Council says it has huge revenue generating potential of $87m annually utilizing waste from only two markets.
Georgetown Mayor, Patricia Chase-Green, in endorsing the project, said it falls in line with government’s green agenda and the push towards a green economy.
“We are ensuring that in keeping with the President’s vision we are doing everything possible in promoting the proper collection and disposal of garbage. Also, in keeping with the council’s own vision for a cleaner and greener city, we want to move in the direction of waste separation and recycling,” the City Mayor stated.
She outlined that the Mayor and City Council is willing to provide support and guidance to householders and businesses which are interested in proper waste management.