The Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority Looks at Waste Management Strategy

by Donella Hosten

The issue of space for landfill in the current Perseverance Dump Site is of grave concern to the Grenada Solid Waste Management Authority (GSWMA) and the Grenadian public.

Hence, in an effort to address the issue, the GSWMA will be implementing their Integrated Solid Waste Management Project, which will see the review of their Waste Management Strategy.

According Senior Public Relations Officer (PRO) at the GSWMA, Mryna Julien, the option of relocating for another site is proving to be quite challenging as there is limited space available for this.

“Our search for a new location is proving futile at this time.” Hence, they have to make use of the remaining available lands at the current Perseverance Site. Thes.Site cannot be built in residential areas, near coastal areas nor close to mangroves or Marine Protected Areas (MPA). They may also be looking at purchasing lands in the vicinity.

With approximately 38,000-39,000 tons of waste go to the landfill per annum, the GSWMA has to look at alternative options, and the key components to the construction of the landfill will be their Waste Management Strategy. This includes looking into other options of land-filling, and waste diversion which includes recycling and composting. “Our waste management strategy, would be critical in terms of charting the way forward for solid waste management in Grenada.”

Some other options can include Waste to Energy, Recycling initiatives on island and exporting of recyclable items. However, the best way forward can be determined when they do a Waste Characterisation Study, which, is part of their Waste Management Strategy Review.

“We are hoping that with this new Strategy Review, we are going to sign off on that consultancy soon,” and once this is done, according to Julien, the GSWMA would get into the public consultations among other activities. “It would also help us to set our targets in terms of waste reduction, which I think is very critical.” Equally critical is their legislative review, which, according to her will also be part of the Waste Management Strategy.

Addressing the issue of recycling in Grenada, Julien commented, “Currently, there is very little recycling taking place in Grenada.” She went on to say that previous studies done at the OECS level have indicated that it was not feasible to do recycling on the island. Despite the fact that there is a lot of waste that can be recycled, eg plastics and cardboard, it’s not enough to drive an industry. Therefore, the current option is to process and ship out for recycling purposes. If it has to be done, Grenada would have to collaborate with neighbouring countries for sufficient material to be provided. “As it currently exists, it isn’t really workable…” but she suggested that the 40%-45% organic waste Grenada produces, can be cut down on.

With respect to Waste to Energy, the Senior PRO said, although this may be practicable ‘we ought to think of the cost factors involved.’ Costing of processing the waste and producing the energy can be high. “Possibly, we may look at alternative sources of providing power for our processing facilities at the landfill.” On this note, Julien mentioned a recent investment the GSWMA made in a tyre-debeader, to extract metal from tyres before shredding of the rubber. “Going forward, we have to look at becoming self-sufficient, harnessing our natural energy sources as a means for cutting down on the costs for waste processing.” This piece of equipment was purchased under the project.

The estimated time the GSWMA would be occupying the current landfill is 2-3 years. However, in the interim, measures must be put in place to reduce waste.

The Waste Management Strategy should be completed soon, as they are about to sign off on a consultancy. Julien revealed that the consultants have been selected and they will be coming up with a final working document and advise the GSWMA on the best way forward with workable targets. The company they will be working with, is a regional company, but, their name has not been disclosed as yet.

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