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SWMCOL is dedicated to doing its part in helping the citizens of Trinidad and Tobago to implement modern waste management practices.

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SWMCOL offers a variety of services and technologies that meet the needs of customers in the areas of waste management and environmental protection.

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Over the last 30 years SWMCOL has enjoyed numerous successes in improving waste management practices in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.

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SWMCOL Invites Stakeholders to Round Table Discussion
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On Friday 21st February, 2014, The Management of the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) met with a number of key stakeholders with regards to the recent fires at the Beetham Landfill.  The main objective of this meeting was to inform all stakeholders of SWMCOL’s immediate action plan to minimize the reoccurrence of such fires as well as to present the Company’s medium to long term plans for a sustainable solution to the perennial problem of landfill fires.  This plan provides for the introduction of modern waste management systems using state of the art technological solutions.

SWMCOL also sought to engage key stakeholders in understanding the full impact of the fires on their operations so that adequate provision can be made in its planning process to alleviate the problems experienced.

STAKEHOLDERS_1

STAKEHOLDERS_2

Representatives of the Downtown Owners and Merchants Association (DOMA), Trinidad & Tobago National Petroleum Marketing Company (NP), Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, Ministry of Energy, both the Port of Spain and San Juan / Laventille Disaster Management Units, and The Office of Disaster and Preparedness (ODPM) responded to the invitation and were in attendance.

The SWMCOL Team was led by the company’s Chairperson, Ms Nalini Sooklal and its CEO, Mr Sharma Lalla.

In his contribution, Mr Lalla first apologized for the unfortunate series of events which had led to his decision to call the meeting, and then launched into a brief PowerPoint presentation that outlined the company’s proposed plan of action.  This included significant investments in technology driven security equipment as well as the creation of a fully engineered landfill site prior to the closure and rehabilitation of the Beetham Landfill.  Mr Lalla expressed his confidence that these plans would not only reduce the risk of fire but would also help to reduce the amount of waste being buried at the landfill.

Post the CEO’s presentation, there was a spirited discussion involving all persons in attendance.  The President of DOMA, Mr Gregory Aboud, in particular, wished to make it known how much his organization appreciated and welcomed any initiative on the part of SWMCOL which sought to ameliorate an age-old issue.

Representatives also made the observation that the landfill fires are really a manifestation of a much deeper socio-economic problem facing the residents of East Port of Spain, the solution to which is beyond the remit of SWMCOL.

All told, there was a healthy exchange of ideas which, as the CEO noted in his summation, would help to inform the nature of the proposal which he hoped to have submitted to the line minister in the coming weeks.

The meeting which began at 10.15AM was then concluded at 12.05PM.

 
SWMCOL Shows Appreciation
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On Friday 14th February, The Board of Directors, Management and Staff of the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited’s (SWMCOL) assembled at the Beetham Landfill to show their heartfelt appreciation to all staff and contractor employees who waged a brave battle against the recent spate of fires.

Board, Management and Beetham Landfill staff attends the recent Staff  Appreciation Event, Friday 14th February, 2014

Board, Management and Beetham Landfill staff attends the recent Staff Appreciation Event, Friday 14th February, 2014

 

At the small, private gathering, our Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Sharma Lalla opened the proceedings by acknowledging the seriousness of the situation as well as the severity of the impact which the fires had on Port of Spain and environs.  And even though he admitted that more needed to be done to ensure that circumstances such as these become a thing of the past, he applauded the efforts of the team in being able to contain and extinguish all fires within five (5) days.

Ms. Nalini Sooklal, Chairperson of SWMCOL addressing the Board, Management and Beetham Landfill Staff at the recent Staff Appreciation Event, Friday 14th February, 2014.

Ms. Nalini Sooklal, Chairperson of SWMCOL addressing the Board, Management and Beetham Landfill Staff at the recent Staff Appreciation Event, Friday 14th February, 2014


Our Chairperson, Ms. Nalini Sooklal in addressing the gathering, applauded the amazing dedication and effort shown by all during this ordeal.  She also distributed the tokens personally to each of the thirty eight (38) employees and contractors who were recognized.

 

SWMCOL Board, Management and Beetham Landfill Staff at the recent Staff Appreciation Event, Friday 14th February, 2014

SWMCOL Board, Management and Beetham Landfill Staff at the recent Staff Appreciation Event, Friday 14th February, 2014

 

Further to the ceremony, SWMCOL will be embarking on a number of consultations with key stakeholders in an effort to discuss plans to ameliorate and prevent future recurrence of fires on all of its landfill sites.  In the immediate period however, on-site safety and security is expected to remain on high alert.

 


 
News Bulletin #8 - Beetham Fires
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Date:             Tuesday 4th February, 2014
Time:            5:00PM
Subject:        Beetham Landfill Fires


Bulletin:

All blazes at the Beetham Landfill have now been extinguished and the smoke problem which had plagued Port of Spain and Environs this past week has now been resolved.

SWMCOL acknowledges that the past week has had its fair share of challenges, and we once again thank our customers as well as the members of the general public for their support and understanding throughout this ordeal.

SWMCOL would like to recognize the efforts of its dedicated staff as well as the employees of our landfill contractors, many of whom have worked tirelessly since the blazes were first detected on Sunday, January 26.  Their quick action and hard work ensured that the extent of this disaster was greatly ameliorated.  

The public is advised that the landfill at Beetham has now been fully re-opened and is operating at one hundred percent.  Furthermore, in response to the events of the past week, on-site security remains on high alert and we remain vigilant so as to prevent any possible recurrence.

For further information please contact SWMCOL Communications Department on 625-6678 Ext 303.

Thank you

SWMCOL

 
Joint Media Release, EMA & SWMCOL - Beetham Fires
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Date – 29/1/2014

The Environmental Management Authority met with the Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) this morning to assess the current issue regarding the Beetham Landfill fires, and issue a joint statement on the matter.

The EMA has received from SWMCOL a report on the state of the fires which suggests that the fires were not spontaneous but man made in nature. Through surveillance of the area, Dr. Allan Bachan Chairman of the EMA, has advised that based on our meeting with SWMCOL it was jointly agreed that the Beetham Landfill Site, be closed temporarily. Ms Nalini Sooklal, Chairperson of SWMCOL confirmed this and indicated that arrangements have been made to redirect regular operations to the other landfill sites at Forres Park and Guanapo in order to assist in bringing the situation under control in the shortest possible time.

We embrace the mandate of the EMA and will rely on their competence in providing the results of their findings to the necessary national bodies for deliberation and decision as to the course of action necessary, said Ms. Sooklal.

The EMA confirms that on Monday January 27, 2014, air quality tests were conducted at three sites yesterday near Sea Lots, Downtown Port of Spain and near the Foreshore. The air quality tests measured the amounts of particulates in the air. Particulates refer to particles suspended in the atmosphere, and can remain suspended for long periods where they are a key component of air pollution and smog. Particulates affect the environment as it contributes to greenhouse gases, and affects human health as they can they easily reach the deepest recesses of the lungs leading to respiratory ailments according to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Readings for the total volume of particulates in the air were measured against the standards outlined in the Draft Air Pollution Rules (APR) (2013) by the EMA.

The EMA further advises that the issue of public health is of grave concern to the Authority, and the air quality test conducted on Monday January 27, 2014 at the site closest to the source of the smoke near Sea Lots revealed that the particulates present in the atmosphere were more than 13 times the limit of the Draft APR. The test conducted in Downtown Port of Spain revealed readings more than 10 times the limit, and the test conducted near the Foreshore (the test site furthest from the source) revealed readings more than twice the limit.

Today additional air quality tests were conducted at St. Clair, around the Queens Park Savannah, Movie Towne and at the Brian Lara Promenade. The results revealed that the air quality has returned to normalcy within the Port of Spain area. Dr. Bachan indicated that the wind factor is currently favourable for Port of Spain and the environs.

Current surveillance of the area suggests that the smoke, coupled with the fluctuating wind direction is impacting areas surrounding the Beetham landfill only. Dr. Bachan confirmed that the wind is directing the smoke off into the sea and high ambient air quality levels are documented only at the Beetham at this time.

Ms. Sooklal said that, “At present, we wish to advise that there is one area of the landfill that is still on fire and we continue to work assiduously in dealing with this area despite the prevailing wind conditions which has brought a resurgence of smoke into the capital city and environs.”    

Ms. Sooklal further advised that SWMCOL has, from the onset, been working collaboratively with the EMA to monitor the impacts of these fires on the ambient air quality in the affected areas. We continue to collaborate with the EMA and will be guided accordingly by their recommendations.

 “We continue to apologise to the national community for the inconvenience and adverse consequences of these fires. SWMCOL also wishes to advise motorists to exercise caution on the roadways as the resultant smoke has impaired visibility,” said Ms. Sooklal.

The EMA will continue conducting regular air quality monitoring tests and will issue further statements as the need arises and advise the public accordingly.

Dr. Bachan wishes to the advise the public that they should remain calm at this time. “We will continue to coordinate with relevant state agencies and monitor the situation.  We will continue to conduct regular air quality tests and would advise the public on further updates as necessary, said Dr. Bachan.

END