St. Maarten Recycling and garbage storage: Minister Meyers presents two garbage solutionsPOSTED: 05/16/16 8:31 PM
Minister Meyers visited the Renewable Energy Facility in West Palm Beach. Photo swa.org
St. Maarten News – Recycling 30 percent of all garbage and compacting, wrapping up and storing the rest and use it as fuel as soon as the waste-to-energy plant on Pond Island is operational. Those are two of the actions the government has in mind to tackle the persistent problems with the dump. If a contract were signed today, it will take three years before the plant is up and running, Vromi-Minster Angel Meyers said yesterday at the Council of Ministers press briefing.
After attending an energy summit in Washington, Minister Meyers traveled to New York where he visited a waste-to-energy plant. The company, whose name was not revealed uses a BOOT concept (build, own-operate-transfer) for its projects. It has 44 waste-to-energy plants in and outside of the United States. Three years ago the company inspected the landfill in St. Maarten.
“The intention is to move forward with a waste-to-energy plant as soon as possible,” Meyers said, indicating that a memorandum of understanding with the New York Company is in the works.
Meyers also visited the Renewable Energy Facility in West Palm Beach in Florida that incinerates as much garbage in a month as the island of St. Maarten produced in a year. Due to economy of scale, the plant is able to sell the electricity it produces for just two dollar cents to an energy company. The last proposal under consideration in St. Maarten had a price tag of 32 dollar cent per kilowatt and that was, according to utilities company Gebe too high.
“I don’t expect the price to go down to 2 cents,” Meyers said, “But when it comes down to around 10 cents it becomes feasible.”
In Washington, Meyers made contact with a representative of Caribbean LED Lighting Inc., a Barbados-based producer of LEDs. Gebe is in the process of replacing all street lighting with LEDs. Buying them directly from the producer in Barbados could be cheaper than buying them in the US, Meyers said.