by Larry Smith
In a powerful communication prepared recently, Bahamian waste expert Ginny McKinney has outlined a 'trail of tears’ over the country’s shocking failure to resolve its solid waste management problems - despite spending tens of millions over decades.
Writing to the Bahamas Chamber of Commerce, Mckinney began her review in the early 1990s, when Canadian engineering group, Stantec, was commissioned by the Inter-American Development Bank to study our waste disposal issues.
Up to then, we just dumped all our garbage - including hazardous waste - in wetland areas like Big Pond off Blue Hill Road, or burned it on the Family Islands..
“Upon completion of the study (Stantec) were charged with designing a modern, fully engineered landfill for New Providence and 10 Family Islands,” Mckinney wrote.
Detailed guidance was given on how to manage these landfills, while green waste, tyres, cardboard and metals were to be diverted for recycling. Waste-to-energy facilities were suggested, but were not part of the bank's remit at the time.
The IDB contributed some $23 million for this 20-year project to protect public health and the environment, and the government kicked in another $10 million.