Out with the Old

If you’ve travelled Grenada’s western main road in recent months, you may have wondered what is occurring at the old Perseverance dumpsite. What once was a massive mound of waste is slowly turning into beautiful mountain.

The Perseverance site which has been in operation for well over fifty years was not a sanitary engineered facility and operated as an open dump just outside the Halifax Bay on a mangrove swamp. This site has been a problematic open dump for many years and has resulted in pollution of the marine environment at Halifax, air pollution due to frequent fires, illegal foraging for waste by pickers, release of unpleasant odours in its vicinity and risky operations due to inappropriate, unplanned filling operations among other areas.

The closure of the site, which is being financed under the CDB/Government of Grenada Integrated Solid Waste Management project, involves reshaping/terracing of the 11plus acres of the site, compacting, covering with soil and planting of grass on the terraces This phase of the project which commenced in earnest in mid 2022  is expected to be completed before the onset of the rainy season and is moving ahead according to its established timeline.

The project is contracted to Inversiones 7000 Gda. Ltd and is being carried out by local contractors Herry’s Trucking and Equipment Company.

The Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority assumed responsibility for the site in 1995 from the Ministry of Health which operated the site for close to thirty years before that as an open dump. The site commenced operation without any organized system of depositing waste or waste segregation, which meant that it was in receipt of all waste types including waste oil, sewerage, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, some bio-medical and tyres among others.

During the years that followed the Authority’s control of the site, the GSWMA introduced a number of operational changes to being about some semblance of order in its operations. The site was capped in 2001 but was put back into operation again that year due to operational challenges at the then new landfill.

The Authority is hoping that with this closure, it will help to bring an end to a number of environmental, social and operational challenges associated with keeping the site in operation. One of the critical concerns being the frequent fires which not only brought discomfort to residents, commuters, and workers in the vicinity of the facility, but has cost the Authority hundreds of thousands of dollars in firefighting efforts in recent years, with the most recent fire costing in excess of five hundred thousand dollars in firefighting and suppression efforts.

On completion of the rehabilitation of this site the authority will continue to monitor the site through its thermal surveillance system to detect any increases in temperatures for early interventions as well as for any possible leaching into the nearby natural water systems. The Authority is however confident that the process of capping and planting with grass for slope stability will work in the best interest of keeping the site safe and preventing any future occurrences of fires at that location.

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