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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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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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News Bulletin #1 - Forres Park Fires
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Date:             Friday 27th June, 2014
 


Bulletin:

The Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Company Limited (SWMCOL) wishes to advise the general public at this time that based on our contingency plan for rapid response the fire at Forres Park Landfill which started on Thursday 26th June, 2014 has been extinguished.

We would like the general public to know that we have put contingencies in place to ensure that the inconvenience caused, as a result of the fire at the landfill, is kept to a minimum.

Additionally, SWMCOL would like to use this opportunity to thank all our Staff, the assisting agencies, (The Trinidad and Tobago Fire Services, Environmental Management Authority, Office of Disaster  Preparedness and Management (ODPM) and The Couva/Talparo/Tabaquite Regional Corporation) for all their kind assistance throughout this situation.

Thank you

Mrs. Alison Awai

Corporate Communications Specialist

SWMCOL

 
World Environment Day
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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.

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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.

 


 
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

 
Community and Youth Outreach Programme
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SWMCOL Services
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South Secondary School Recycling Project
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ROTARY CLUB SAN FERNANDO SOUTH

Launches

SECONDARY SCHOOL RECYCLING PROJECT, 2012

 

The Rotary Club of San Fernando South in partnership with fellow stakeholders The Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) and Recycle in Motion (RIM) officially launched their "South Secondary School Recycling Project "on Tuesday 24th April, 2012 at the San Fernando Central Secondary School, Todd Street, San Fernando.

Minister in the Ministry of Public Administration, The Honourable Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan gave the feature address calling on the students to "Go GREEN! Saying they were the future leaders of Our Country" and that it is expected that they will be responsible for making a change.

 

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SWMCOL has been educating Schools and Companies across Trinidad and Tobago for the last two years on their special invitation to encourage proper waste management and how to start up a recycling initiative within schools and corporations and so we are thrilled to support this beneficial project for the betterment of the citizens of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago.

SWMCOL with the Guidance of the Rotary Club San Fernando developed the Recycling Posters for each School, Brochures about Recycling and how to start up your very own School Environment Club. 

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The Official Launch of the Project: Student from San Fernando Central Secondary School (Mod Sec), Nagen Annamunthodo Project Coordinator, Public Administration Minister Carolyn Seepersad-Bachan, Mr. Trevor Williams Director RIM and Mrs. Alison Awai Communications Specialist SWMCOL

 

SWMCOL's Communications Specialist, Alison Awai remarked "We would like to encourage the youth of today to take interest in their Environment at School and at Home.  We also encourage their fellow students to recycle as well. Send a positive message that recycling is better for the School community, the Country, the World".

 

Present Day

The project began on Monday 23rd April, 2012 all 6 six schools started placing recyclable rubbish into the bins donated – Paper, Plastic and Aluminum.  Each week they weighed the bags and recorded it onto sheets given to them by SWMCOL Public Education Administrator, Gisele Telfer who in turn will use that information and include it in her final reports per school at the end of the Pilot Project.

Each School has been excitedly working on this project and sending in fantastic photos on their progress each week.  I want to personally take this opportunity to thank each school and its students for taking part and trying to change the mindset of their colleagues even in difficult and trying times.  Keep up the Hard Work!!!!

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Asja Girls participating in the Rotary Club San Fernando South Recycling Project April – June 2012.

 
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