Willoughby On Dump: Solution At Hand
Last night we told you about the putrid odour emanating from the city dump.
It is the result of the disposal of 170 metric tons of spoilt "fish meal", an ingredient used to make shrimp and aquatic feed products. ADM Belize Mills disposed of the fish meal because it had moisture and heat damage, but it was not properly disposed of.
So measures were taken yesterday to try and cover it up - but it wasn't enough and the horrible odour was still affecting area residents today.
We caught councilor Phillip Willoughby just as he had come out of a meeting with Belize Mills and he told us a final solution is being applied:..
"We know now that what we did yesterday was not sufficient enough and much more work needs to be done, so we partnered and collaborated with the Belize Mills, they were lending a helping hand. We are looking at procuring at least up to 45 more loads of material to cover the area within the land fill."
"Ok so because residents were still calling us today, complaining that the scent has not subsided, you all acknowledged this? Is it anyone's fault should this have been foreseen?"
"No, well like I said Belize Mills got clearance from D.O.E., we spoke with the Ministry of Health, we did not know that when the material was deposited at the land fill that this would have been the outcome. If we had known this would have been adverted and this will not happen again, so I take this opportunity once again to apologize to residence of Belize City on behalf of the Belize City Council."
"How much longer will the residence particularly the Faber's Road but even in the Belama area have to content with it?"
"As we speak the materials are being procured, so I believe now and tomorrow at least $5,000 worth of materials will be at the dump site and will be spread."
"Who is paying for this?"
"As I said we did a leg of it yesterday, and Belize Mills is throwing a portion today and we go from there and see where we stand and we assess the plan of action."
The material being used to cover the fish meal is clay.
And if "Philoughby" seemed to have a change in his bearing it's because on Sunday he graduated with an MBa from Galen University.
Reeking smell from dumpsite torments city residents
In the past week, residents of Belize City who live around the garbage dumpsite at Mile 3 on the Western Highway have been overwhelmed by a terrible odor that has permeated the entire area within a 5-mile radius. Some of these residents have complained to Amandala and other sections of the media that this stinking air has been a serious nuisance to them.
A City Council official has since told us that it was caused by the dumping of spoilt fish feed by Belize Mills Limited, and that they are currently trying to rectify the problem.
One resident of Fabers Road Extension told us that this bad odor has been preventing her family and her neighborhood from even sleeping, and that it has gotten worse over the last few days. She has called on the authorities to deal with this issue urgently.
City Councilor Phillip Willoughby has confirmed to us today that they are trying to address the problem, and he also explained what led to the terrible odor.
According to Willoughby, the rains of the past few days have affected the fish feed product that Belize Mills produces in commercial quantities, and they needed some way to get rid of the spoilt feed, so they approached the council about it.
Willoughby said that proper clearance was received by the Department of Environment, who certified that the spoilt fish feed could be dumped at the site, and that it would not harm the environment or the residents of the city.
What has happened is that the constant rains after the feed was dumped, intensified the decay of the spoilt feed, and the odor has spread relentlessly throughout certain areas of the city.
Willoughby said that the council is trying to lessen the effect of the smell by covering the feed with landfill by the end of the day. The landfill consists of several truckloads of garbage that will be spread over the area in which the feed was dumped.
He also asked for the patience of the city residents who have been affected, and he apologized for the inconvenience. He also told us that there will be other measures that will be taken to address the future disposal of this type of waste.
Authorities from the Central Health Region at the Health Department have told us that the odor is not harmful to our health; it’s just a nuisance.