Government Brings Relief to Central Pines Residents
A new solid waste disposal facility for Abaco will bring relief to residents of Central Pines, with Local Government oversight thereof to serve as a test model for potential landfill management on other Family Islands.
Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham, Environment Minister Earl Deveaux and officials of the Department of Environmental Health Services (DEHS) travelled to Abaco Tuesday to tour the new facility at Snake Cay and the existing facility near Central Pines, which has been a source of concern for residents bothered by both the condition of landfill and burning that takes place there.
The Central Abaco Local Government District Council has been given responsibility for the site.
During a meeting with the Council following the site tours, Prime Minister Ingraham said: “We have chosen the Marsh Harbour Central Abaco District as a test case to operate and manage the new solid waste disposal site which has been constructed by the Central Government.”
Mr. Ingraham pointed out that the current dumpsite is a hazard and unacceptable, and that the Government would like it to be closed in the shortest possible time with the solid waste therein to be transferred to the site near Snake Cay.
“The Department of Environmental Health Services,” Mr. Ingraham added, “has moved to an advanced stage in firstly, developing the site and secondly, in putting out to tender a contract for the operation and management of the site.
“It was during the course of considering the tender result, that the Government decided it may be a good idea to let the District of Central Abaco have responsibility for the site, transfer them the funding and see the extent to which they are able to manage it effectively and efficiently.
“If they are able to do so, then we can do a similar exercise with other islands in The Bahamas.”
DEHS will, according to the Prime Minister, send an officer to Abaco to ensure that the site is being managed according to Government requirements. The value of the contract for the operation and management of the site is just over $500,000.
Minister Deveaux encouraged District Council members to see to it that waste at the new site is handled in a sustainable manner, and advised them to look into the possibility of mulching and other recycling options to cut down on the accumulation of bulk waste.
The location of the new site at Snake Cay has brought with it some discussion.
Mr. Ingraham told District Council members that the Government has approved in principle a development for Snake Cay, and that there have been indications that the persons who are interested in the development would wish for the waste disposal site to be removed from the Snake Cay road at their cost.
“We would have no objection in principle to that except that we are not prepared to wait in the hope that they may produce the result,” the Prime Minister said. “Whenever they are ready to do business we stand ready to do business with them.”
For residents of Central Pines, the relocation of the current dumpsite is a long awaited solution to a vexing problem.
“I am very happy that we have finally been able to bring relief to the people of Central Pines who have suffered much as a result of the dumpsite being so close to their homes,” Mr. Ingraham said.
“I was amazed today and I want to congratulate this Council for the cleanup they have done thus far. I can recall most vividly passing there many days and seeing the garbage near the road.
“This has been an annoying thing for Central Pines and I am happy that we have been able to (bring relief).”
Mr. Ingraham said the Government will create a second Central Pines along the Southside road near Murphy Town on 200 acres of land earmarked there.