Persistent Organic Pollutants (POPs) are a group of chemicals which pose a significant threat to human health and the environment. In response to these global threats, the international community adopted the Stockholm Convention (SC) on POPs in 2001. The SC aims to rid the planet of these toxic substances by the restriction and then elimination of their production, use, release and storage. Saint Vincent and the Grenadines acceded to the convention in 2005, recognizing the need to improve on the national management of POPs. As such, they are participating in a wider regional project GEF 5558: The Development and Implementation of a Sustainable Management Mechanism for Persistent Organic Pollutants, which involves eight Caribbean countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Belize, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Suriname and Trinidad and Tobago.
Component 2 of this project aims to strengthen the capacity of five of these participating countries, by improving waste management practices at their landfills. This would reduce site contamination, and the incidence of Unintentionally Produced POPs (UPOPs) emissions from accidental landfill fires. UPOPs (dioxins (PCDD) and furans (PCDF)) are generated through combustion of organic matter and chlorine, which happens as a result of open burning at landfill sites. These UPOPs may be released through air, water and land; humans are exposed mainly through animal consumption.
The key project activity targeting Saint Vincent and the Grenadines involves the development and execution of training programs on landfill operations in alignment with the following objectives:
- Provide recommendations on improving landfill operations
- Identify and prioritize options for the suitable management and diversion of waste streams from landfill that promotes a reduction of POPs and UPOPs emissions from the landfilling of wastes
- Assist the Waste Management Authority as well as other key project and waste sector stakeholders to develop sustainable actions for improving landfill operations through operator training
- Raise awareness of international best practices related to waste management and hazardous waste management for stakeholders engaged in same
- Enhance the competence of landfill operation managers in operational health and safety measures required for reducing UPOPs emissions from landfills, with an emphasis on reducing combustion of wastes at a landfill
- Provide practical suggestions for improving the management of waste
The BCRC-Caribbean began hosting the training series “GEF 5558 Project Activity – Reduction of Unintentionally Produced Persistent Organic Pollutants (UPOPs) Emissions by Improving Waste Management Practices at Landfills” on Wednesday October 06, 2021, in collaboration with the Sustainable Development Unit (SDU) and the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines. The consultants of the Resources and Waste Advisory (RWA) Group are facilitating the sessions. These training sessions will span five (5) days.
To learn more about POPs – visit: www.stopthepops.com