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Proposed energy plant to solve landfill shortage, says NSWMA head

JOAN Gordon-Webley, the executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), says the proposed ‘waste-to-energy’ plant expected to convert 90 per cent of the island’s garbage into electricity for more than 200,000 residential customers, will not only solve Jamaica’s problem of landfill shortage, but will provide much-needed revenue for the garbage collection agency.

Gordon Webley, who made the remark at the Observer’s Monday Exchange meeting of reporters and editors at the newspaper’s head offices in Kingston Monday, said there was more than enough waste at the landfills to generate energy at this plant.

She explained that the landfills have another 10 years to reach their capacity.

“As it concerns landfills, my director tells me she sees at least another clear 10 years and once we move to ‘waste to energy’ that (problem) is gonna be gone,” Gordon-Webley said.

Denise Tulloch, senior research officer in the Centre of Excellence for Renewable Energy at the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ), told the Observer Monday that the PCJ will – by next month – begin negotiations with the successful bidders to operate the plant.

“We hope to have, all being well, the necessary agreements in place by the end of the fiscal year in March of 2010,” she said.

She added, however, that the plant would not be in operation before 2013, given that the investor is granted a renewable energy licence from the Office of Utilities Regulation to operate such a large grid-type system.

Lands, she added, have also been identified in close proximity to the Riverton City and the Retirement disposal site in St James.

Gordon-Webley, in the meanwhile, explained that the NSWMA will only be responsible for providing the raw material and the PCJ will have responsibility for alternate energy.

“Our garbage will now become alternate energy and we are hoping to get something from that,” she said.

As for the recommendation that residential customers sort their garbage, Gordon-Webley said it might be foolhardy to ask Jamaicans to begin doing such as the NSWMA does not have “first world” trucks to accommodate such a process.

 






Category/ies:Jamaica Articles, Jamaica News.
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