PHILIPSBURG, St. Maarten - The landfill (dump) in Philipsburg is on fire again and the perils with the new garbage collection contracts in general have only added to the frustration.
Some might feel that this is open political season and we could now point fingers at the persons who were in charge of areas like Public Works etc. for many years, and under whose responsibility this matter fell.
We could use the lack of visible action by those persons as political ammunition and start to "shoot" at these persons who over the years and for mainly selfish reasons have stalled, turned back, reversed or whatever the case might have been, any plan that had to do with arriving at a solution for the Philipsburg landfill.
However, this blame game will not get us any closer to a solution at this time.
The people of St. Maarten are nevertheless encouraged to look back over the years and see who has been responsible for the stalling and reversing and who even in the recent past have tried to get between GEBE and a possible solution. That again will not get us out of the impasse we are apparently in.
DP leader, Sarah Wescot-Williams: "I have said to my coalition partners that we need to cut to the chase and if e.g. the plan that is now on the table is just sitting there and coming to a power purchase agreement with GEBE does not appear feasible due to cost or economy of scale, then we need to cut it!"
We need to cut to the chase and let go of unfeasible proposals.
Don't let it remain lying on a desk at GEBE, because stakeholders might not want to hear that once again and because of the passing of time, another plan must be aborted.
Let government make a firm decision if the proposed system for a Waste to Energy plan is not workable and let's move on.
We can understand that the current situation of the board and management of GEBE does not contribute to a speedy decision, but it is also a fact that GEBE has had this proposal for some time now.
And so although the DP hopes for a speedy decision with respect to management and board of GEBE, we do not believe the decision of "go or no-go" should depend on such.
In addition, we recently had a new contract for the management of the landfill signed. That contract was on the basis of how things were and how things used to be done.
"If we consider the fact that even if we were to reach a firm agreement for a Waste-to-Energy or any other system to dispose of our garbage today, it would allegedly take 18 months to 2 years before operation, the management of the dump in our opinion needs to be revisited."
The question to consider in that case would be: can rehabilitation of the existing dump take place while getting the new system up and running?
We really hope so.