Smoke from Eccles Landfill severely affecting nearby residents

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By Kristen Macklingam

Persons living in close proximity to the Haags Bosch Landfill at Eccles, East Bank Demerara (EBD) are now being faced with another smoke dilemma, this time as a result of wood being continuously burnt at that location.

INews understands that for the past four to five weeks, many residents in the area have been battling with long exposure to smoke in their homes during the late night into early morning hours.

smoke 2According to one woman, the smoke is at its worst between 03:00h and 05:00h and begins to clear up around 06:30h but this depends on the weather; if it is raining then it clears up faster, however, if there is dry weather then the smoke lasts longer.

“It isn’t happening every day, but more like every other day this smoke bothers me, and others living here. The hours vary, depending on the weather the night before, and in the morning. But you can even smell the stench of the smoke knowing it isn’t just garbage but wood being burnt and being exposed to this in our homes is far from healthy, it is like killing us slowly because we have to inhale this,” she stated.

INews was told that affected residents have sought the intervention and attention of both the Communities Ministry and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with regards to the above-mentioned issue.

“The Ministry said they are looking into it and the EPA said they are looking at the issue but the smoke still is there. It has been weeks since this is happening and we can’t get a solid answer as to when it will end. Persons with little children and babies are now under pressure in their own homes having to deal with health hazards and their kids,” another young lady posited.

When INews visited the location today there was minimal burning of garbage inside of the Landfill site while trucks were continue to dump refuse which was being brought in from various locations.

An employee attached to the Haags Bosch Landfill site explained that the wood being burnt over the past weeks were those that had been collected in the garbage trucks and had to be disposed of separately.

He stated that he was aware of the issue of the smoke bothering residents but that this was something beyond his control.

“What we need to do is go back to the original cell area being used to dump and dispose of garbage which is further away from the living proximity of persons. Ever since that big fire late last year we have been using this temporary new site and it is time we go back to using the old one since this was only supposed to be for a time. They supposed to award a new contract but I don’t know what taking them so long , they need to do this, so we can relocate the garbage because it will continue to affect people living around here and their children,” he added.

 

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