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    New Year – New Standards says Solid Waste Management Authority

    After years of limited funding, the current government of Belize acquired a loan from the Inter-American Development Bank(IDB) and the OPEC Fund for International Development (OFID), for a Modern Solid Waste Management Project. The objective of the project is to improve waste management practices in the Western Corridor by moving away from harmful environmental practices such as the burning of household garbage, illegal dumping and unsanitary landfills, to a more sustainable and environmentally sound waste management system.

    The loan has allowed the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority, which was formed by an Act of Government in 1991, to assemble a staff of qualified environmental, sanitary and civil engineers who have been busy during the past year establishing relationships with key partners involved in waste management.  These partners include municipal governments which are responsible for collecting household garbage and the Department of the Environment which is responsible for setting and enforcing regulations for proper solid waste management.

    Additionally, the loan has allowed the Authority to introduce a new approach to solid waste management that is only now being applied in first world countries around the world and is being hailed as representative of the new global standard for sanitary disposal, recycling and sustainability of waste management.

    During 2012 and the first half of 2013, the Authority has worked very closely with its partners to close and secure the old landfills located in Belize City, and at mile 73 on the Western Highway which served the San Ignacio/Santa Elena and Benque Viejo areas.

    The old landfills have been replaced by transfer stations, where the garbage that is collected is manually then separated and that which is to be disposed of, transported to the new sanitary landfill that was built at mile 24 on the George Price Highway, while the recyclable portion is baled. The new landfill is designed to protect ground and surface water from contamination, minimize the accumulation of toxic landfill gases and allow for green use of the landfill after it has reached the end of its useful life.

    As 2013 draws to a close the Authority is currently preparing to focus its energies on introducing and sensitizing everyone to this new solid waste management system. The new year, 2014, will therefore be marked by a public education campaign and the sensitization of key stakeholders and partners, including householders, industry and business sectors.  The Authority is keen to encourage all Belizeans to play their part in this new solid waste management initiative, by bagging their garbage and placing it in a covered bin to be collected.

    As we approach the holiday season, the Board, management and staff of the Belize Solid Waste Management Authority encourage us all as waste generators to play our part, which will contribute to a cleaner, healthy, and more beautiful Belize and wishes all Belizeans a blessed Christmas and a sparkling new year, filled with success and joy!