PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — St. Maarten has the option of compacting waste at the landfill in preparation for the construction and implementation of a waste to energy facility on the island, explained Minister Angel Meyers.
The minister, while attending a renewable energy conference in Washington D.C., had the opportunity to visit two waste to energy plants in the US; one in New York and the other in Florida.
“The company in New York builds, operates and owns approximately 44 plants—40 in the US and four outside the US…we receive a tour of the plant, saw the whole process how it’s done to the tipping of the garbage, the incineration of the garbage and the producing of electricity,” he explained.
He said the company is familiar with the St. Maarten landfill challenges and knows the landfill having toured it in the past and is very willing to pursue a waste to energy initiative here. “We are busy now with an MOU and as soon as we can come to an agreement it is my intention….to move forward with the waste to energy facility as soon as possible,” he disclosed.
He noted however, that it will take about three years for the completion and functioning of as such a facility on the island. As such, the garbage currently piled up at the landfill may have to be compacted and stored; ready for use when the facility is constructed.
“We can compact the garbage, bundle it, wrap it, store it and when the facility is in place that is fuel for the facility,” he said. Meanwhile the minister noted that from his visits to the Florida waste to energy plant, he discovered that the cost of generating waste to energy may be less than first anticipated.