Tyre burning project for Caribbean Cement put on hold

Tyre burning project for Caribbean Cement put on hold
21 April 2020

The coronavirus pandemic has halted a key project for Caribbean Cement Co to remove and incinerate between 1.5-2m tyres from the Riverton City landfill.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the country's government and Caribbean Cement was signed last July to see the removal of the environmentally-hazardous tyres from the landfill.

During the pilot stage last December 6000 tyres were burnt by the cement company in 11 days, but with the onset of COVID-19, the project has been put on hold.

"We signed a MoU with the Government of Jamaica last year and we did the testing. We learnt a lot from that and we realised that we were able to start burning them on a continuous basis," said Yago Castro, general manager of Caribbean Cement Co.

"We think that we can eliminate all the tyres that are at Riverton in a respectable amount of time, less than 10 years. They are now stored there, dumped there, and that constitutes different types of hazards. As you know mosquitoes [can breed in them]," said Mr Castro. They are also a fire hazard, he added. 

He argued that the cement company does not stand to earn any economic benefits from the programme, but it is committed to the project because it is great for the country.

In announcing the MoU with Caribbean Cement last year, Prime Minister Andrew Holness noted that the tyres have been accumulating for decades at Riverton as well as other landfill sites across the island.

"Carib Cement will be responsible for the payment of costs relating to the offloading of the tyres, and the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation will share equally in the cost of putting the tyres on the trucks and transporting them to the kiln," noted Mr Holness.

Published under Cement News