The government has sought to allay concerns that the conversion of old tyres at the Riverton dump to provide energy to Caribbean Cement Company will negatively impact the environment.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was signed Monday morning between the government and the management of Caribbean Cement at Jamaica House.
Under the MOU, two million old tyres at the Riverton dump will be transported to the cement manufacturer where it will be converted to energy.
The Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) on Sunday raised concern about aspects of the project.
However, speaking at Monday morning's signing, Prime Minister Andrew Holness said the country's environmental agenda is at the forefront of the project.
"They have already tested to establish that the kiln can incinerate at very high temperatures without much waste and toxins being put into the environment. So that part of it is established," he declared.
Peter Donkersloot Ponce, General Manager of Caribbean Cement, further explained that the waste to energy conversion process will be environmentally friendly.
"If you burn a tyre at an incinerator, it burns at 600 degree Celsius, producing a lot of toxic gases. When you burn it at a kiln, it burns at 1400 degrees Celsius and it's not the same. At 1400 degrees Celsius, the tyre is burned instantaneously with these toxic gases. And then, in an incinerator, you still produce a by-product, which is the ashes. When you burn it in the kiln, the ashes just come out as the ashes of our other fuels and get blended into our process. So it does not produce a by-product, it does not produce toxic gases and it is the best and most environmentally friendly way to solve many environmental liabilities like the tyres," he explained.
He said the tyres will be removed from the Riverton Landfill within three to five years.
The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will supply five truck loads of used tyres to Caribbean Cement over the next 40 days.
Prime Minister Holness noted that Caribbean Cement will be responsible for the payment of costs relating to the offloading of the tyres while the Ministry of Local Government and the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation will share equally in the cost of onloading the tyres by trucking them to the kiln.
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