The Solid Waste Disposal Site (SWDS) and the Irma Debris Disposal Site (IDDS) on Pond Island are in need of improvement. Large amounts of debris accumulated on the island in the wake of the destructive 2017 Atlantic hurricane season, which resulted in decreased disposal capacity at both sites as well as surface and subterranean fires. Although the Ministry of VROMI has made operational improvements at the disposal sites, surface and subsurface fires remain a potential hazard that complicate any actions towards the sites’ stabilization.

The objective of this activity is reconditioning and improving operations at the SWDS and IDDS, as well as purchasing of heavy equipment to support landfill operations. This is a necessary first step in facilitating sustainable solutions to Sint Maarten’s solid waste management challenges.

As of today, the EDMP has purchased and delivered materials and equipment to apply alternative cover on waste deposits to mitigate the chances of new surface fires and extinguish existing subsurface fires. VROMI personnel was given a week-long training on the set-up, operation, and maintenance of this equipment.

The Project has also purchased a waste handling bulldozer, a front-end loader and a solid waste compactor. This equipment provides VROMI with the right tools to keep improving waste management and minimize the occurrence and intensity of fires at the disposal sites.

It is of the utmost importance that this activity is implemented in an environmentally and socially responsible manner. As such, the following environmental and social safeguard instruments are being developed, and these seek to mitigate potential risks to the environment and human health and safety.

  • The Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA). This study will provide the environmental and social mitigation measures to be considered during the implementation of the project.
  • The Resettlement Action Plan (RAP). This is part of the ESIA and it has identified the need for relocation of the community next to the solid waste disposal site. The RAP will provide the procedures needed to implement the relocation in a safe and responsible manner. Visit our page to learn more on Resettlement.
  • The Environmental and Social Management Plan (ESMP). This will provide the contractor with the requirements for the execution of the works following the required environmental and social safeguards.

To meet social and environmental safeguards, major project activities will not start until the RAP is implemented. This is the first time that the government of Sint Maarten will embark on large-scale community resettlement. Therefore, it is expected that implementation of the RAP will take several years, and it will be done in phases so that project activities can start as soon as possible.

Activity at a glance

Part of project EDMP
Environmental and Social Research
Resettlement Action Plan