Haags Bosch landfill strives to attain first-world status

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By Devina Samaroo

Ever wondered what happens to your garbage after it is thrown out? Well, if you live in Region Four and get rid of your trash properly, it most likely ends up at the Haags Bosch Landfill at Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD).

Nearly 500 tonnes of garbage is dumped at the landfill every day.

When the trucks arrive at the dumpsite, the garbage gets separated and the workers would sort through the trash in search of their own treasure.

What remains is then crushed into a compost pile.

Previously, when the day’s work ended, the layer of compost was covered with soil and then the next day, garbage is crushed upon that coating of dirt.

But this method took up a lot of space, which could have been otherwise filled with garbage.

However last month, the contractors procured a multimillion-dollar equipment known as the “Tarp Deployer” which has now increased the life of the landfill by about two years.

Site Manager, Lloyd Stanton explained to media operatives during a tour of the facility Monday that the tarpaulin is used in place of the soil and unlike the layer of dirt, the material can be removed.

“Tomorrow morning when you ready to put garbage again, you just roll up the tarp and we continue putting garbage for the day,” he explained.

The section of the landfill where Leachate treatment is done.

The compost piles can go as high as possible, but currently, it reaches heights of 12 metres above the road level.

The dangers, however, are landslides but the site manager assured that safety is of paramount importance at Haags Bosch.

In fact, he says when compared with other third-world landfills, it is rated 95%. Compared with first world dumpsites, however, it comes in around 60%.

“We’ve got a lot more to do in terms of getting to first world status and getting to first world status calls for first world money, which, right now, is not available to the third world,” Stanton stated.

He explained that first world dumpsites would have mechanisms to convert waste to energy, complete purification of wastewater (leachate treatment) and higher safety standards.

Haags Bosch is currently doing leachate treatment but the purified water is not drinkable. But it is safe enough to prevent pollution when released into the country’s waterways.

The Haags Bosch landfill is being operated by Puran Brothers and Cevons Waste Management. It is the largest landfill in Guyana catering for household and commercial refuse to be deposited from Region Four.

No fees are currently collected from the users of the landfill but this may change in the coming years.

The Site Manager explained that the Government is in the process of finalizing a solid waste management strategy which could result in modern laws including a payment structure.

“There is a legislation that we are working on and as soon as legislation comes in place, there will be a phased system for payment, probably starting with the commercial entities until we reach down to the domestic disposal,” he noted.

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