Cook’s landfill is cause for concern

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Environmentalists are sounding the alarm over the state of the Cook’s Sanitary Landfill.
Speaking to OBSERVER media on Friday, Martin Dudley, an ecological activist, said the situation was worse than many people know.
“All these sewage trucks that are pumping out your septic tanks, they have a temporary arrangement to dump at Cooks. That temporary arrangement is 20 years old. How bad is Cooks? I would posit that Antigua has a waste crisis that has not been recognised,” he stated.
Dudley said that it was unfortunate that the landfill was sited right next to a wetland area which was now being threatened.
The activist’s comments came after a two-day workshop, held with local environmental advocates and professionals, to craft a waste management roadmap for Antigua and Barbuda with help from
the United Nations Development  Programme (UNDP).
Water management adviser, Kris Kats, of The Netherlands Organisation (TNO), an independent scientific research body, pointed out that it was critical to sort waste before it was filled in to protect the integrity of the eco-system. 
“What I am seeing here is that a lot of waste that is collected should already go somewhere else. Organic waste is dumped there, scrap metal is going there, pretty much everything goes to the landfill without any separation.
The other thing that I’m seeing and that is a straightforward thing to say is that collecting waste the way it’s being done with open flatbed trucks without having a compactor available at the landfill you need to do something there,” Kats noted.
According to Kats, the failure to compact the waste meant there was an immediate loss of a lot of space that could be utilised.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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