City garbage collection under control – Solid Waste Director

The garbage collection in the city is under control, according to Solid Waste Director Walter Narine.

Providing an update to the City Council at yesterday’s statutory meeting, Narine said the city has been able to collect garbage in every community at least once per week and it is working to improve its delivery of service.

Narine explained that workers from his department and the newly hired private contractors have been working three shifts to clean up the city. He explained that in areas where garbage has piled up, they would immediately dispatch a team to remove the garbage.

Additionally, Narine told the council that a new schedule has been rolled out for garbage collection in the commercial area. Businesses are asked to put out their garbage at 5 every afternoon.

Narine said that with the new arrangement, they would be able to provide a more efficient service as the garbage trucks would not get caught up among the traffic and they would be able to execute collection faster.

The two largest private garbage disposal companies, Cevons Waste Management Inc and Puran Brothers Disposal Inc were forced to suspend their operations to protest the council’s continued failure to honour its financial obligations to them. The companies are owed over $300 million in total for work dating back to 2015.

Unable to pay the contractors, the council contracted three smaller waste disposal companies to assist with collection.

Meanwhile, PPP/C Councillor Bishram Kuppen yesterday questioned Mayor Patricia Chase-Green about the recently announced collection fees for businesses.

Effective September 1, businesses would be required to pay for the collection of garbage as the council said it can no longer subsidise its $50 million per month garbage disposal bill.

The announcement was made by Town Clerk Royston King in a statement issued on behalf of the M&CC and in which he noted that the decision was taken after extensive consultations with members of the private sector, non-governmental organisations and community-based groups. The statement had also said that special arrangements will be put in place for private contractors “to compensate citizens” by paying a percentage of the cost charge against businesses.

The statement from King said businesses will fall under three categories, small, medium and large, which would be billed $5,000, $8,000 and $12,000 per month, respectively.

Chase-Green, in response to Kuppen’s questioning about the council’s approval for the fees, said that during the 2017 budget presentation, the council voted and approved the fees proposed, which were $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000 per month, for garbage collection.

She explained that the administration arrived at the fee structure after consultation with businesses and because the fees were less than what was proposed, the council did not have to vote to approve it for a second time. However, she said if there had been consensus for higher fees, the proposal would have been brought to the council for approval.

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