The Central Abaco Landfill has been the focus of numerous complaints in recent weeks as there have been delays in issuing a new contract after Central Government took responsibility for its maintenance away from Local Government as of July 1.
Beginning July 1 the Department of Environmental Health took over responsibility for the landfill; however, there was not contract yet in place for the maintenance of the site.
The former contractor was hired to continue for July but was not paid by the end of the month and is presently still waiting to be compensated for his work.
Ken Dorsett, Minister of the Environment and Housing when contacted concerning conditions at the landfill indicated that it had been cleared on August 11 and would be maintained on an interim basis until the Request For Proposal (RFP) is issued.
Mr. Dorsett said that the RFP is being finalized by the Department of Environmental Health Services but did not answer questions of why it was delayed or when it will be finalized and a contract awarded.
Earlier in 2013 Cabinet made a decision that all landfills will fall back under the purview of the (DEHS) and on February 8 Mr. Dorsett visited Abaco.
He said at that time that they wanted to see what they are up against to address issues of remediation and “to make sure that the amount of money that the government has invested in infrastructure in Abaco to deal with waste disposal is properly utilized.”
In 2012 Central Abaco District Council put out a bid for tender and received several proposals which have also been forwarded to the DEHS in Nassau.
When pictures were taken of the landfill on August 9 garbage was piled in heaps across one of the access roads and next to the main landfill pit which, as indicated by the heavy growth on it, has not been utilized for some time. There are also what appears to be thousands of tires piled up on the northern side of the dump.
A bulldozer was sent on August 11 to clear the garbage and push back the area being utilized as a dump site on the southern side of the compound; however, the piles of garbage near the old pit and the piles of tires remain untouched.