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Police use used tyres to destroy illegal drugs at Rabacca on Nov. 9, 2022.
Police use used tyres to destroy illegal drugs at Rabacca on Nov. 9, 2022.
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Opposition Senator Shevern John is calling on the government to speed up plans to stop burning tyres at Rabacca.

In December 2022, Minister of Health St. Clair Jimmy Prince, responding in Parliament to a question from John, said the government will set up a tyre-shredding facility at Argyle.

John had asked if there were any plans to discontinue the practice of burning tyres at Rabacca and whether or not there were plans to undertake any environmental studies to ascertain the effects of that type of pollution.

Prince had said BRAGSA, a state agency, had a contract to construct the tyre shredding facility at Escape, Argyle and approximately one acre of land had been purchased to accommodate the shredder.

But one year later, the facility is yet to be constructed and the burning of tyres continues at Rabacca.

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Speaking during the estimates debate on Dec. 21, John noted that only EC$10 has been allocated to the trye-shredding project next year.

“There is a completion date of 2026, [which] means that that project has some delay or something,” the opposition senator said.

“It is of great importance that we have this tyre shredding facility. If you go up to Rabacca on some days when they’re burning tyres there, you will not want to see that site. Black smoke in the air. You can stay at Byera and see that smoke and a number of persons have been complaining about it,” John told Parliament.

“So, I was hoping when I saw it last year in the estimates that it could have been completed by this time around but apparently not. So, we have to endure that pollution for another year.”

John said she has spoken to many people who are concerned that the polluted smoke may get into the waterways.

“So, persons are concerned and I do hope that we work on that as quickly as possible,” John said.

2 replies on “Senator calls on gov’t to speed up plans to stop burning tyres at Rabacca”

  1. nancysauldemers says:

    Let’s look at some facts. The open burning of tyres is so very toxic to human health and our natural environment that it is actually illegal in many parts of the world. It’s commonly known that burning tyres releases many toxic substances including: fine particulate matter, which can increase the risk of heart disease, asthma, and low birth weight while even short-term exposures can cause premature death, increased emergency room visits and hospital admissions for heart or lung issues; sulfur dioxide , which irritates the nose, eyes, throat, and lungs causing sore throat, runny nose, burning eyes, and cough, not to mention swollen lungs and difficulty breathing; nitrogen oxides, which can cause burning, spasms, and swelling of tissues in the throat and upper respiratory tract, reduced oxygenation of body tissues, a build-up of fluid in your lungs, and death; carbon monoxide, which can dramatically reduce our blood’s ability to transport oxygen to our bodies’ organs and tissues, leading to headache, nausea, rapid breathing, weakness, exhaustion, dizziness, and confusion; and volatile organic compounds as well as benzene, xylene, ethylene, and acetone, which have been linked to cancer and birth defects. Should any health minister anywhere in the world be concerned about the open burning of tyres? Should any government anywhere in the world consider this an issue worth more than $10 EC in any given year? What do you think?

  2. And people must also stop burning tyres in villages, this is a practice in a village out skirt of kingstown. The ministry of health must look into this practice, the smell is that toxic and there’s a pre school in the area.. The people in the area will soon have respiratory diseases , it’s very sickening

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