From trash to 'green' treasure trove
Sungai Akar Park
The public may have to wait for four to five more years before they can set foot on the new Sungai Akar recreational park, which is nearing completion due at the end of this month.
The senior technical manager of Jurusy Perunding, the appointed contractor for the nearly one-year long project said that even though the park would be completed, it would still remain a hazardous area as the landfill site that the park is built upon will still be in operation within that time.
"It will not be open to the public immediately because dumping (of rubbish) is still going on. It would not be pleasant for the public," Yong Teck Chin told The Brunei Times recently.He said that the park would not be opened until the dumping operations there ceased.
The landfill site is still in use as the Sg Paku engineered landfill, the site chosen to take over Sg Akar's functions as a dumping ground for Brunei-Muara District is still being built. Sg Paku is the second phase of the project, which was previously reported to target completion in mid-2011.
Yong said that the Sg Akar recreational park was on schedule to meet the November 30- deadline. He said the remaining work to be done on the 33-hectare site included landscaping work such as creating the recreational park's artificial water features and maintenance turfing work. Among the facilities already in place included walkways and the service road as well as installing the sub-soil pipes.
The transformation of the landfill site into a public park basically involves covering and building the park on top of the hills of rubbish. The underground piping network drains the leachate or the liquid precipitate that seeps out of the rubbish to a treatment plant adjacent to the park.
Yong said that there was a possibility of other facilities added to the park during the four-to-five-year wait for it to be opened to the public. However, this depended on the request of the authority overseeing the project, the Brunei Economic Development Board (BEDB).
Even when the Sg Paku engineered landfill is completed, the Sg Akar park would remain closed for at least another six months, the senior technical manager pointed out. He said that this period was to ensure that the operations of engineered landfill was running smoothly. "What we have to do until then is to keep the site tidy and maintenance work on the park so it will be ready for the public," he said.
There were not any major challenges during the transformation of the site that they could not overcome, Yong noted. He said the main hurdles they faced were technical challenges such as levelling the slopes of the park to make it stable.
Apart from the transformation of Sg Akar and the creation of an engineered landfill site, the project also includes studying other, more sustainable alternatives for Brunei's waste disposal methods. BEDB was looking into methods including decomposition, recycling and incineration once it has identified the breakdown of waste generated daily in the country. Once an alternative method has been decided, the landfill in Sg Paku will be buried, a BEDB official was quoted in a past report. The Sungai Akar landfill receives most of the 300 tonnes of waste per day produced in Brunei-Muara district. (The Brunei Times)