Beckles made the announcement at a post-Cabinet media conference on April 6 earlier this year, and said Government had a plan to replace the dump with a new, cost-effective, environmentally-friendly facility. She said it was a significant decision, one that the entire country would welcome.
But since the minister’s dramatic announcement, nothing more was heard on the matter. Susan Figaro, a communications officer at the Environment Ministry, told Newsday, “Nothing has changed since. Proposals for the new facility are still being looked at.”
Asked what would be the nature of the new facility, she replied, “We’re looking at the best way forward.”
In her April announcement, Beckles had said her ministry would be inviting proposals for the establishment of the new waste disposal facility.
She said the decision to close the dump came because of the public’s health concerns over the present location.
The Beetham Dump was established 30 years ago and accepts 720 tonnes of waste per day. It serves a catchment from Chaguaramas in the west to Curepe in the east.
Beckles had said that other dumps in TT in Guanapo, Forres Park, Toco, Point Fortin, Cedros and Studley Park in Tobago, were also being looked at.
Former Environment Minister, Adesh Nanan, said he supports the closure of the Beetham Dump, but said he is yet to see a national solid waste management plan.
“You can’t just close a dump. You must have a plan. Where are you going to put all that waste?” Nanan asked.
He claimed when the UNC was in government, everything was in place for the closure of the dump.
“We had put out tenders for a national solid waste management plan. But the PNM Government has done nothing from 2001 to the present, and harmful gases continue to emanate the Beetham and Forres Park dumps.
These dumps have to be relocated,” Nanan asserted.