Published On: Wed, Feb 7th, 2018

Giterson about dump: “We need immediate action”

VROMI-minister Miklos Giterson about dumpPHILIPSBURG – “We need real solutions and we need immediate action,” VROMI-Minister Miklos Giterson said on Wednesday during the central committee meeting about the dump fires, whereby he once more referred to the landfill as a “toxic monster.”

The immediate action the minister has in mind consists of three elements: getting rid of the post-Irma debris, reducing the amount of garbage that is going to the dump and improving the landfill management. Giterson said that the memorandum of understanding with the Canadian company Envirogreen for the construction of a waste-to-energy facility is under review.

MP Theo Heyliger asked how the post-Irma dump was managed. “The material was supposed to go off island within two weeks,” he said.

Heyliger also queried the contract for the management of the dump. “If arson is the main reason for fires then we have a problem with security,” he said. “which measures have been taken?”

“It is a great irony that we have these fires just before the elections, Heyliger noted, thereby adding fuel to the not illogical thought that the fires are politically motivated. “And now we are about to sign a contract worth about a billion guilders while there has been no bidding and while the government has to stand as a guarantor for 70 million.”

Heyliger asked whether the government has committed to that guarantee and whether GEBE and financial supervisor Cft were involved in the process.

MP Frans Richardson (USp) was brief and clear in his statement: ‘The agreement with the current contractor is not worth a dollar. They can’t handle it.”

DP-MP Perry Geerlings asked whether it is correct that, when the fire erupted with flames, it indicates that fuel was added as a combustible.

“We need to find out what went wrong,” Geerlings said. “We have this attitude of covering everything with a blanket of love and that has cost us a lot of money. We are talking about a broad-based problem here whereby we do not have to look at the minister of VROMI alone. You could also look at the minister of Education when you see school children throw garbage out of school buses.”

Geerlings furthermore remarked that garbage from the French side is being dumped on the landfill.

The memorandum of understanding with Envirogreen is “a humongous commitment,” Geerlings observed. “Any contract of this magnitude should be handled in a transparent manner.  I want to know where that money is going and make sure that there is no money falling off the truck into somebody’s pockets. If any civil servant is involved in this contract it is time for people to speak up and report. We are cleaning up our environment but we should also be cleaning up our government.”

Bijlani-Geerlings-Theo Heyliger 20180207 - HH during meeting on dump

Photo caption: MPs Sidharth Bijlani, Perry Geerlings and Theo Heyliger (l.t.r.) during today’s central committee meeting. Photo Hilbert Haar.