The Government of Trinidad and Tobago established the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Limited (SWMCOL) in November 1980. SWMCOL’s initial mandates to design and implement solid and hazardous waste management systems and structures, and to advise the local government providers on waste management, were subsequently expanded to include the construction and management of engineered landfills, the collection of industrial waste, the transportation and processing of faecal waste, and the processing of recyclable materials.
SWMCOL converted the existing, open-burning dumps at the Beetham, Port of Spain and at Guanapo, Arima to landfills and established a third, new landfill at Forres Park, Claxton Bay.
SWMCOL also constructed and managed the Studley Park Landfill in Tobago up to its handover to the Tobago House of Assembly in 1988.
WASTE GENERATION STATISTICS
Trinidad’s landfills receive approximately 700,000 tonnes of waste per year (1500 to 2000 tonnes per day); comprising 66% household waste, and 33% of industrial, commercial, and institutional origin.
Our waste generation per capita averages between 1.5kg and 2.0kg per day.
Plastics account for 19% of the municipal solid waste (MSW) entering the landfills. Post-consumer beverage containers collectively contribute to approx. 1% of MSW. Other plastic waste comprises single-use bags and straws, polystyrene cups, cartons, etc., packaging materials, and a very large variety of commercial products ranging from household items to electronics and car parts.
THE LANDFILLING PROCESS
SUSTAINABLE WASTE MANAGEMENT
Trinidad & Tobago is counted among the fifty-two (52) small island developing states (SIDS) worldwide. The SIDS characteristics that impact waste management include limited land space and growing populations, excessive dependence on international trade, and fragile environments that are also vulnerable to the effects of climate change.
In recognition of these vulnerabilities, SWMCOL sees the need to transform the waste sector from the traditional linear model to that of circularity via the Establishment of an Integrated Sustainable Solid Waste Management System (ISSWMS)
SWMCOL aims to transform the waste sector via the Establishment of an Integrated Sustainable Solid Waste Management System (ISSWMS), an initiative that is consistent with SWMCOL’s mandate. The benefits of the ISSWMS include:
The five (5) phases of the ISSWMS Project are:
“Get into Green” is more than a call to action. It is both a precept and a promise.
The promise is that of a greener tomorrow for the benefit of all when we “Get into Green”.