SWMCOL’S VISION GOING FORWARD IS TO INVEST FURTHER IN SUSTAINABILITY MEASURES.
MANAGEMENT Sustainable Business Magazine speaks to Ronald Roach, CEO of the Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Ltd, and David Manswell, the company’s General Manager for Communications, Sales, and Marketing, about education, efficiency, and an innovative new project for handling contaminated water. The Trinidad and Tobago Solid Waste Management Company Ltd. (SWMCOL) is a state-owned company responsible for managing solid and hazardous waste in Trinidad and Tobago, as well as public education and the development of recycling activities. Founded in 1980, the company has rehabilitated two landfill sites, at Beetham and Guanapo, and established another at Forres Park. “Prior to 1980, the dump sites were operated very haphazardly,” explains Ronald 32 | SUSTAINABLE BUSINESS MAGAZINE
Roach, CEO of SWMCOL. “They were just open sites where they burned the waste. It was an eyesore and a health hazard. When we came in, we procured equipment to raise the standards by spreading and compacting the waste, and we began covering it. Because they were preexisting sites, we weren’t able to develop engineered site in the true sense of the word, but we were at least able to improve on the activities that were taking place and improve the environmental situation and the public health aspect.”
ENGINEERED WETLAND One problem has endured. None of the three sites currently have any treatment facilities for leachate, the contaminated water which drains from the landfills. “The leachate which is produced just dissipates into the environment, either through seepage into the ground water or runoff as surface water,” says Mr. Roach. “It’s a serious problem.” Today, SWMCOL is developing an innovative, sustainable solution to leachate. The Guanapo Landfill Site is due to host an