Published On: Tue, Oct 25th, 2016

Welcome to Mount Trashmore

cartoon-mt-trashmore

A lot has been said and written about the dump and a lot will be said and written about this thorn in everyone’s hide for decades to come.

Those who think that our politicians will take care of the problem are dreaming. Politicians who says that they will take care of the dump are hallucinating.

Why?

Because we have amassed an enormous amount of crap on Pond Island that for reasons unknown some people call the sanitary landfill. It is a huge mountain of debris and you can bet your bottom dollar that everything that should not be in there is in fact in there.

So when the smoke of the next fire lazily floats over the city or over the neighborhoods that happened to be in the line of fire, think about that. This ain’t just smoke. This is pure poison called dioxin and it’s carcinogenic; in plain English: that smoke has the potential to cause cancer.

It is possible to extract methane from this dump and use it to generate electricity. We have never heard anyone on the decision-making level talk about that. So we guess it’s not an issue anyone cares about. Extracting methane could help mitigating the fires – but it won’t prevent all of them.

And here is the thing: this dump will catch fire over and over again. It is tempting to say”: get used to it, but that would be a dangerous approach. If dump fires get old, they lose their value as a news item and this will not exactly encourage politicians to finally hurry up and do something about this crap.

There is some humor in a report about a waste-to-energy plant that we obtained sometime around 2009. It said that this installation would not only burn all our garbage and turn it into cheap electricity, it would also ‘mine’ garbage from the existing dump at a rate of 10,000 tons per year.

At first glance that sounds interesting, until you realize that the country produced at that time already 140,000 tons of garbage per year.

Do the math: it would take fourteen years for the waste-to-energy plant to mine one year worth of rubbish. And – assuming for argument’s sake that the volume of the annual garbage production has remained level since 2009 – it would take 84 years to get rid of the garbage we plunked on Pond Island during the six years between 2010 and 2015.

And even then there would still be an enormous pile of garbage left that would still have the potential to catch fire on an irregular basis.

Therefore, on a certain level we have no other option than getting used to those darn dump fires. On another level, people who live in the line of fire ought to consider finding another place to live, until the politician who says that there is a solution to this puts his words into tangible action.