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Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline

The Solid Waste Transfer Station on Ambergris Caye is scheduled to be completed in March, almost two years after the project was expected to be finished. The project is part of the national Solid Waste Management Project (SWMP) which will see the garbage generated from several parts of Belize including Ambergris Caye and Caye Caulker, transferred to mainland Belize for proper disposal. The transfer station in San Pedro is being built at a cost of almost $1 million, which is part of a larger loan from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) obtained by the Government of Belize (GOB).

When completed, the project will see garbage transferred along the western and center corridors of Belize to a disposal location off Mile 24 on the George Price Highway. In each of the participating locations, a transfer station is being constructed for the collection and sorting of garbage. The participating communities are Caye Caulker Village, Ambergris Caye, San Ignacio/Santa Elena Town and Belize City. While the transfer stations in Belize City and San Ignacio/Santa Elena are functional, the two on the islands are not completed. Cayetano explained that the projects at both Caye Caulker and Ambergris Caye are near completion as the IDB loan expires in March 2015, and the entire project must be completed by then.

Currently the San Pedro Town Council collects the garbage, and takes it to a location south of the island where it is burned. Some of the garbage is also used as land fill in the swampy areas of the island. The two options have serious health and environmental concerns and has been allowed to happen for years. It is estimated that annually over 3,500 short tons of solid waste from commercial and residential usage are collected on Ambergris Caye alone. One short ton is equivalent to about 2,000 pounds which indicates that on Ambergris Caye, over seven million pounds of garbage is generated annually. It is projected that by the year 2030 the island would be generating approximately 8,173 short tons of garbage per year or 37.5 million pounds.

Click here to read the rest of the article and see more photos in the San Pedro Sun

Joined: Jan 2010
Posts: 610
It is great to see the waste transfer project proceeding albeit behind schedule. As all know the current situation is a health disaster waiting to happen.

I do have some concerns raised by the project description. Usually when I calculate solid waste disposal needs for a development I use the number of 4 pounds per person per day to estimate pick up and disposal needs. Sounds like a lot but , for example, Austin, Texas produces total of 6.2 pounds per day per person so a number like 4 pounds reflects conservative living. Ours may be closer to that of Austin considering the large amount of bars and hotels. For sake of argument lets use the lower number of 4 pounds per day per person. There are no reliable population figures for San Pedro but 15,000 would not be an unreasonable estimate. That gives an estimate of about 22 million pounds annually which is far different from the design capacity of this transfer station, which is stated to be only 7 million pounds. If we use the figure from Austin we are generating around 34 million pounds annually right now. I would be very interested to know how this estimate of 7 million pounds annually was reached, it appears very, very low to me and if this facility is not properly sized we just wasted a huge amount of money as the problems we have will persist.

Remember that all the waste from the stores in the form of cartons , etc, as well as all the waste from bars and restaurants is included with the trash you generate in your home.

Joined: Aug 2007
Posts: 20
Wow! Regardless of what you think of Mike, he is making some very pertinent points. He is a very resourceful man that unlike many is willing to put his opinion out there to be heard and not slandered.

David G - 5 miles north

Joined: Sep 2013
Posts: 37
Apparently you disapprove of free speech, only the guy with at least 2 names, neither of which may be real has a valid opinion?

Joined: Sep 2010
Posts: 350
Originally Posted by witness
Apparently you disapprove of free speech, only the guy with at least 2 names, neither of which may be real has a valid opinion?

Witness...what exactly IS your opinion about the topic of the Solid Waste transfer station?

Did I miss it? I must have.


Joined: Mar 2003
Posts: 2,160
Two points. Doesn't look to me like it has a hope of being completed by March when if it isn't the funds are cut, I think I read?

Second if it does somehow get up and running removing half or even just a third of the waste off the island is at least a head start on where we are now.

Joined: Aug 2010
Posts: 24
While on the subject of Garbage.....I veto plastic bags on the island, and would love to see all merchants switch to paper bags, more biodegradable materials should be used.

Joined: Apr 2009
Posts: 515
If you want to see this happen give one of the politicians a monopoly on paper bags.

Captain One Iron
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 1,520
Phil, I agree. Seems like a snowballs chance...When one thinks about the amount of crap being converted to tons of air pollution (not to mention the likelihood of dioxin formation and subsequent ground water contamination) I sincerely hope the snowball makes it.

Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 84,400
Marty Offline OP
OP Offline

The municipalities and the general public are hereby informed that the operator of the solid waste transfer stations (San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Burrell Boom, Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker) and the Mile 24 Regional Sanitary Landfill has ceased operations effective January 9th, 2017.

The Ministry and Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) assures the municipalities and the general public that they are making every effort to contain the situation, and have therefore designated temporary dumping areas on the transfer station compounds to accommodate the garbage that continues to arrive. This is an interim measure.

We take this opportunity to encourage the public to minimize the amount of waste being generated. We kindly ask the users of the transfer stations to cooperate given the circumstances and to dump in the designated areas. The municipalities and the general public at large will be kept abreast of further development.

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