Garbage collection in city resumes

Puran Brothers Disposal Inc and Cevons Waste Management resumed garbage collection in Georgetown yesterday after withdrawing their services last week due to the failure of the Mayor and City Council to meet financial commitments to them.

This is after negotiations with the council over the past few days over the failure to pay in excess of $300 million owed to the contractors.

“I am happy to say that as I speak they have resumed duties…all things are under control.” Georgetown Mayor Patricia Chase-Green told a press conference yesterday, while adding that negotiations are still ongoing with the hopes that all outstanding debts will be settled.

She informed that in the interim, two small contractors were working along with the council’s team to ensure garbage was cleared in every ward in the city.

Chase-Green added that no monies were paid to the contractors, but they would have agreed to resume their work. “…They have agreed and we will continue the talks.

They would have withdrawn on a payment for 2016. We have an arrangement to bring up to date 2015 and pay current for 2017. In the payment of 2017 there was one month we did not keep the promised date and there were variations for two months…that has since been rectified. Now that they have resumed…we will be looking at the payment for 2016,” the mayor said.

Meanwhile, the city’s Director of Solid Waste Management, Walter Narine said that the council “has a plan to gradually take Georgetown back under our stewardship.”

“We do not foresee 10 to 15 years from now private contractors doing garbage collection for the city,” Narine said, pointing to the need for the council to save money.

The director also stated that in light of the fact that persons are producing more garbage than the expected amount every week, the council has decided that it  will begin distributing garbage bins and bags to every household in the city shortly.

“We are hoping that very soon we can give each household an additional garbage bin so that they can store the refuse,” he said.

In an invited comment last week following the suspension of their services, the Chief Executive Officer of Cevons Waste Management Morse Archer told Stabroek News that the city owes his company some $184 million since August, 2015. He said then that he would not able to say when the company would be resuming collection of garbage throughout Georgetown, as it depended on the results of further discussions with the M&CC. “The thing is that certain commitments were made by the city to us and they are not being followed so that’s where it went downhill,” he said.

According to Archer, last Thursday was the last day that the company collected garbage in the city.

Both companies have  suspended their collection services on several occasions in the past due to the city’s arrears. They had threatened to pull services near the end of last year due to the situation.

An attempt by the M&CC to assume responsibility for collection in several city wards last year was unsuccessful.

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