Something’s happening at the pile of trash at George Town landfill that’s never happened before.
It’s getting smaller.
With a signed contract and heavy machinery in place, Matrix International has finally begun work on removing the landfill’s 11 acres of scrap metal.
Visible from the Esterley Tibbetts bypass, the company’s large metal movers are now making their way through the 14-foot high piles of cars and loose metal that occupy more than four of those acres.
Work is going quickly – more quickly than expected.
This past weekend, dozens of trucks were making their way down to the George Town port to begin loading the Mostein, a cargo ship bound for Mobile, Alabama.
Matrix General Manager Vincent Young says this first shipload of scrap will take away around 400 compacted cars that had been stacked as a windbreak around the landfill’s loose metal section, and various items stored in Frank Sound and other temporary spots.
‘Once it’s unloaded, this scrap will be transported to a processing plant. Machines shred the cars into small pieces, and the various materials are separated,’ he explained.
The recovered steel is sent to a foundry where it’s melted down for reuse, while most of the remaining aluminium, plastic, fabric and foam is either recycled or landfilled.
‘It’s a really effective and environmental way of minimizing what will actually go to waste – much better than having it sit in a landfill, that’s for sure,’ said Mr. Young.
Shipments are anticipated to leave approximately every two weeks.
‘We are aiming to get as much of the loose metal off-Island as soon as we can, ideally before hurricane season,’ says the Department of Environmental Health’s landfill chief Sean McGinn.
After taking care of the cars and loose metal, Matrix will begin work on the landfill’s white metal items which include stoves, fridges and ovens.
The removal of the cars marks the first step in a massive reorganization of the landfill site, which will increase efficiency and set the stage for the island’s waste-to-energy programme scheduled to kick off within two years.
Works Minister Arden McLean is pleased with the progress.
‘Space is finally opening up at the landfill. There’s never been a better time to get rid of your scrap and derelict cars than now, and I urge people to take advantage of this opportunity,’ he said.
And the project has an added benefit for the government’s waste management team.
Matrix is renting the DEH’s brand new metal crushing and baling machine, which Mr. McGinn expects will result in its being paid off by the time the project winds up in March 2008.
Caption: Vincent Young of Matrix International directs his brother Bruce as he hoists the first load of an estimated four hundred cars and various other items onto the Mostein, bound for Mobile, Alabama where the scrap metal will be processed and recycled.
Or: This weekend, Matrix International began loading the Mostein, bound for Mobile, Alabama with the first shipment of scrap metal now being removed from the George Town landfill. The scrap is destined for processing and recycling.