Remediation work planned for this month at the landfill will significantly reduce the risk of fires at the site, according to the Dart group.
The work will include capping the site and using a ‘gas collection’ system to withdraw flammable gases from the main mound.
A consortium, led by Dart, was selected in late 2017 as the ‘preferred bidder’ on a new Integrated Solid Waste Management System.
Its proposal included capping the landfill and building a new waste-to-energy plant to convert trash to electricity.
But, more than two years later, the details of the deal are still being worked out.
Despite the ongoing contract negotiations, Dart said it had been given the go-ahead last month to start “remediation work” as an interim measure.
That work, scheduled to begin later this month, will help prevent future blazes, like the one that engulfed the landfill over the weekend.
“Once complete, remediation will significantly reduce the risk of fires at the George Town Landfill: the cap will seal off the surface of the waste mound, covering exposed garbage and preventing oxygen infiltration,” Dart said in a statement, in response to questions from the Compass.
“Landfill gas, which is predominantly methane and carbon dioxide, will not sustain fires without oxygen.
“The remediation works also include a gas collection system that will draw gas out of the capped site to be safely flared off.”
According to Dart, remediation of the landfill includes covering or capping the mound of waste with a layer of fill material similar to marl, then a layer of man-made material, followed by more fill and then a layer of topsoil to support the growth of grasses and shrubs.
Premier Alden McLaughlin made similar comments in a press conference Monday afternoon, saying the remediation could still start next week, subject to the fires being brought under control.
He said the longer term waste management strategy would likely take another four years to implement.
“The immediate concern which has been a longstanding concern of landfills catching fire should be resolved in 6-8 months,” he added.
Longer term, Dart still sees the Integrated Solid Waste Management Strategy as the solution to the ongoing issue.
“We are confident in the ability of our team of experts to deliver a solution that fulfills the government’s objectives and brings transformational change to the country’s solid waste management system,” the statement added.