An Update on the Western Corridor Solid Waste Management Project
Thursday, September 1st, 2011
The Solid Waste Management Authority (SWMA) and the Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment are in the process of implementing the Solid Waste Management Project for the Western Corridor of Belize (San Pedro, Caye Caulker, San Ignacio/Santa Elena and Belize City). The main objective of the project is to improve solid waste management practices and reduce environmental pollution, further enhancing the image of Belize in the eco-tourism market, through better management of municipal dump sites.
Here in San Pedro, a survey was conducted in September of 2010. The study was entitled “Willingness and Affordability to Pay” and “Waste Characterization Study”. This was carried out in conjunction with the local authorities. Foreman for the San Pedro Town Council (SPTC) informed The San Pedro Sun that while this survey was completed, the SPTC is yet to receive a copy of the report materializing from that survey.
Under this program, biodegradable garbage material would remain on the island while hazardous solid waste products would be collected and transported to a Regional Sanitary Landfill (RSL) at mile 24 of the Western Highway. The entire project is scheduled to be completed in four phases at an estimated cost of $14,789,000US.
The first part of the project calls for the closure of Belize City’s dumpsite at mile 3.5 on the Western Highway and the construction of a transfer station. This first step is close to completion, and is being done in phases. The complete closure of the dumpsite and construction of the transfer/recycling station is planned to commence in early 2012.
Phase two calls for the construction of a RSL at mile 24 of the Western Highway. In 2010 a topographic survey of the 2.09 miles of access road to the RSL was completed and on August 22nd, the contractor received the Final Inspection Certificate of the two-lane paved 2.09 miles of access road. The second portion of this phase will be the actual construction of the RSL. This is planned to commence early next year. The contractor for this project will be procured through International Competitive Bidding (ICD).
Phase three calls for the closure of all open dumpsites serving the Western Corridor and construction of transfer stations, which are scheduled to go underway in 2012.
Phase four deals with External International Consultants in four areas; Design a Cost Recovery Mechanism/Plan to recover the capital, operational, administration and maintenance cost of the facilities; Provide Institutional Strengthening in legal-institutional, technical-environmental, financial, procurement, contracting, monitoring and supervision of solid waste management; Structure and Conduct the Design Build Operate (DBO) Scheme, which is currently in progress. DBO Bidding Documents for the infrastructure works ( closure of dumpsites and construction of transfer stations at each Western Corridor locations and RSL at Mile 24 Western Highway) have been issued to four pre-qualified firms. Bids are expected to be submitted on September 28, 2011. The contract is expected to be awarded in November/December 2011, and finally Waste Generation and Composition Consultancy to determine the quantity and quality of municipal solid waste generated in each of the Western Corridor municipalities.
Work at the RSL to prepare the first cell to receive solid waste is expected to start in January/February of 2012. Here in San Pedro, the transfer station will be constructed along the stretch of road leading to the Marina.
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