With a significant increase of waste expected during the Christmas season, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has received permission from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) to reopen cell number 2 at Le Repentir landfill site even as the site remains in a precarious state.
Solid Waste Director Hubert Urling at a press briefing yesterday at City Hall said it is anticipated that there will be a 20 to 25 per cent increase during the season over the average amount of garbage collected during the year. Since the Haags Bosch landfill site is still not operational, Urling said, his department has tried to increase the space at Le Repentir site. Consequently, he said, the number of bulldozers operating at Le Repentir site has been increased and these will be used to create more space at the site.
Mayor Hamilton Green said that a lot of what happens at the landfill site will depend on the weather conditions. According to him, weather conditions impact significantly on how the site is covered. He lamented the continued delay in making the landfill site at Haags Bosch operational.
According to Green, following the latest fire at Le Repentir landfill, a meeting was held with Local Government Minister Kellawan Lall on November 11, during which it was said that central government will “take over” Le Repentir dumpsite. He said that despite repeated requests to find out what this meant, no answer has been forthcoming from Lall. The mayor said that while assurances were given that the Haags Bosch site would be ready by early January, he has now heard that this may no longer be possible. Green said that over the past few weeks, the M&CC has done all within its financial and other capabilities to maintain “the dumpsite at some level of sanity”. He, however, stressed that the landfill site remains in a “precarious state”.
Meanwhile, Deputy Mayor Robert Williams said that the council still owes the garbage contractors millions. Williams told Stabroek News that while a payment was made last week to the contractors, a significant sum of money is still outstanding. He was unable to say exactly how much was owed to the contractors. He told Stabroek News that a strike would be unlikely at this time since the contractors would have to follow a certain procedure.
However, according to Williams should the government pay its outstanding property taxes for the last quarter of the year the council would be able to pay the contractors. The taxes have been due since October 1, Williams said.