Less than a week after Director of Solid Waste Management Walter Narine announced that they were back on the streets, three of the city’s four garbage disposal trucks are down for repairs.
This was confirmed by City Hall’s Public Relations Officer Debra Lewis, who told this newspaper yesterday that one truck is working and there are two back up trucks -available.
She explained that in instances when the city’s vehicles are not available or there are shortfalls in their capacity, the back-up trucks, sourced from contractors, are put into use.
Lewis said that this setback should not affect the collection schedule being implemented as the city is currently working with five contractors to provide an efficient service. However, residents in several areas, including the wards of Kitty and Campbellville, have told Stabroek News that their garbage has not been picked up since last week.
Lewis noted that the trucks that are currently down are the same ones which suffered mechanical problems last week and she said that monies have just been sourced so that the Workshop Manager can buy necessary parts.
She advised that residents whose garbage has not been collected contact her office at 225-2218 so that efforts can be made to address the issue.
City Hall has found it difficult to maintain the standard of garbage collection that citizens are accustomed to since it terminated its contracts with Puran Brothers Disposal Inc. and Cevons Waste Management Inc. in August of this year.
The city owes these contractors in excess of $400 million for services dating back to 2015 and has approached Central Government for help in paying this debt.
Councillors present at a special statutory meeting last Thursday unanimously voted in favour of requesting $475,635,245 from Central Government to settle the city’s debt to both Puran Brothers, Cevons and another company, Dartmouth Skips Rental.
The vote was taken on a motion moved by Mayor Patricia Chase-Green and seconded by the Chairman of the council’s Finance Committee, Oscar Clarke.
Minister of State Joseph Harmon has since indicated that Ministry of Com-munities has received and is considering the request.
Informing that both companies have made proposals for the settlement of the outstanding sums, Harmon told a post-Cabinet press conference last week that a settlement of the city’s debt is currently engaging the attention of Ministry of Communities and it would then be referred to Cabinet for deliberation. “We believe that once people have done work, they should be paid and so I wanna give that assurance to the service providers that government is not unmindful of the fact that they provided service and that they have not been paid,” he said.