While there are signs that talks on the huge debt owed by the city to Puran Brothers and Cevons Waste Management have been bearing fruit, dissonance continues even as the garbage crisis in the capital may be worsening.
Earlier this week sections of the media published reports attributing to City Hall’s Solid Waste Disposal Head Walter Narine likely time lines for a return to garbage disposal duties by Puran’s and Cevons only for the latter to issue a short, sharp media release asserting that it had had no engagement with the Georgetown municipality on the matter of returning to garbage disposal duties in the capital.
Several months ago City Hall had publicly announced that it was dispensing with the services of the two companies after they had temporarily withdrawn from disposing of garbage in protest over their protracted failure to secure any meaningful response on the matter of the liquidation of the debts.
This week, Cevons Chief Executive Officer Morse Archer told Stabroek Business that the company had taken a decision to respond to what Mr. Narine had reportedly said because it did not want to get caught up in what would appear to be “playing games” with the citizens of Georgetown “on a matter as serious as the disposal of their garbage. “This is not a matter to be playing games over. We have said that we are committed to serving the capital but we believe that people must be clear at all times about the process, about what is going on.”
Media reports earlier this week have also suggested that Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase-Green has also been raising alarm bells over what she sees as an emerging garbage disposal crisis in the capital. The Mayor is quoted in a section of the media earlier this week as declaring that she is prepared to engage the two private waste disposal entities on the matter of them resuming duties in the capital at the earliest possible time even though there is no sign of any negotiations between City Hall and the two companies.
By this week, however, signs were beginning to emerge of a likely resolution of the huge debt to the two companies in the form of a government bailout of a cash-strapped City Hall. However, while it is believed that engagements towards that end have been taking place, the Cevons Waste Management boss told Stabroek Business on Wednesday that he would offer no comments on such discussions as might be ongoing until the outcomes are clear.
Government, Stabroek Business understands, has taken “the practical step” to come to the rescue of City Hall in order to stave off what could escalate into an ugly garbage disposal crisis in the capital in circumstances where, given the anticipated significant increase in domestic refuse associated with Christmas, the situation could spiral out of control