A contract was signed Monday for the removal of a mountain of used tires from the George Town landfill site.
Government confirmed it had signed the previously announced deal for local firm Island Recycling and its overseas partner Guernsey Recycling, to shred the tires to be used as fill in construction projects.
After five failed bids to sell or give away the tires, $1.25 million was earmarked from the Environmental Protection Fund at the last budget to dispose of them.
Jason Brown, of Island Recycling, said work would commence once specialized equipment arrives on island, expected within four months.
He estimates it will take around 11 months to shred the tires currently stockpiled at the landfill site, believed to number around 500,000.
“We are grateful for the opportunity. We know we have a lot of hard work ahead of us and we’re ready to meet the challenge of turning the large stockpiles of waste tires into reusable tire derived aggregate,” Mr. Brown said.
He said the company would bring in experienced tire recycling experts from its overseas business partner, but would also create local employment with the contract.
“I think this is a win-win situation, not only for the government, but for the people of the islands in terms of the way that we’re choosing to process the tire materials, making it a tire-derived aggregate, meaning that it can be recycled and used on island versus the expense of export,” he explained.
Councilor for Health Roy McTaggart said the contract would finally deal with a long-standing problem.
“Everyone knows it’s been a safety hazard for us, in terms of potential fires at the landfill, as we’ve had in the past,” he said. “Used tires are also a preferred breeding ground for the Aedes aegypti mosquito which carries the Zika virus, as well as dengue fever and chikungunya.”
Premier Alden McLaughlin said the disposal project synced with government’s broader objectives for responsible waste management.
“One of the things we are very excited about is that this process is entirely in keeping with our objective of reusing and recycling waste products. The tire derived aggregate which will be produced as a result of this process, will be reused for construction over the course of the years to come in local projects,” he added.