Categorized | Featured, National News

1.5 Billion Pounds of Debris in Abaco – Removal Costs Millions


Minister of the Environment and Housing Romauld Ferreria estimated that it will cost tens of millions of dollars to remove some 1.5 billion pounds of debris from Abaco following Hurricane Dorian.

While potential lay down sites have been identified on that island, Minister Ferreira said it will only swamp the Abaco landfill.

“Marsh Harbour has a landfill.  It has its challenges, but that is going to quickly overwhelm any kind of situation,” he said. 

“Of course, we have to separate the debris because there is going to be concrete rubble.  There is going to be vegetative debris.  There is going to be metals and there is actually a boat sitting on top of a roof in Marsh Harbour.

“It’s quite something to see. It gives you an idea of how high the sea surge was and the kinds of impacts. So, the waste has to be collected. It has to be sorted.  It has to be reduced in volume which usually means a shredder or some cutting devices and then of course we take it out of the country.”  

Removing the debris will primarily be carried out by the Department of Environmental Health Services.

The minister of the environment and housing acknowledged that determining the amount of debris left behind in Grand Bahama has been a task. 

“The debris management plan calls for a certain kind of expertise to do the sorting because remember that the entities receiving this want it sorted in such a way,” Minister Ferreira said. 

“So that calls for manpower, which calls for expertise.  It calls for planning, that calls for aerial footage and the whole nine yards.

“One of the reasons why we can’t estimate or we have been unable or challenged in terms of estimating debris volumes in Grand Bahama is that a lot of the damage that happens to the homes in Grand Bahama happened internally.

“They basically have a house, but the sheetrock is all damaged and appliances are all damaged. So it’s a different kind of feature and so we’re really going to have and develop two separate responses for how we deal with the damage and debris generated from that.”      

The government, he said, is taking advantage of the expertise provided by its international partners.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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