Another row may be brewing between Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal, the city’s two largest waste collection services, on the one hand and the Georgetown Municipality, on the other, following reports that the municipality was contemplating jettisoning the two companies from garbage collection arrangements involving the capital’s nursery, primary and secondary schools.
Stabroek Business has been informed, meanwhile, that payments to the two companies could be slipping into arrears again, following the settlement late last year of huge sums which were due over an extended period. This time, however, the controversy could be compounded by what another section of the media says are contemplated moves to insert another company into the process, following reports of dissatisfaction over service delivery standards.
While the report provides no information regarding the identity of the new contractor, a source from the sector told this newspaper that a “well-connected” service entity was under consideration.
Late last year, following a protracted period of strained relations between City Hall and the two service providers, which had extended into work stoppages and the recruitment of temporary replacement services, government intervened directly; settling arrears totalling tens of millions of dollars and averting what had threatened to escalate into a major garbage disposal, and likely public health, crisis. So far this year, at least on the surface, the garbage disposal companies and City Hall appear to have enjoyed a relatively uneventful relationship.
When contacted on Tuesday, Puran Brothers Disposal Inc. Director, Kalesh Puran said that contrary to assertions attributed to City Hall, his company was unaware of service delivery complaints by schools in the capital. He explained that Puran’s continue to operate “a normal service” as far as schools’ garbage disposal was concerned though he added that there have been instances in which difficulties pertaining to schools having suitable disposal receptacles was a concern.
“There have been difficulties in removing the garbage where the schools have fixed concrete disposal boxes,” Puran explained, adding that the company was particularly mindful of providing a convenient service to schools and pensioners. He said that while the standard garbage disposal arrangements required that bins be placed on parapets “we often actually go onto premises and get the garbage.”
Over the years City Hall has established an unenviable reputation for lengthy lapses in payments to service providers in the garbage disposal sector, and earlier this week Stabroek Business was informed that payments for services rendered in May of this year were only now available. A source close to the service told this newspaper that under the current contractual arrangement payments ought to have been available for the month of June.
Meanwhile, Puran told this newspaper that while he recalls mention being made of the likely recruitment of another service provider “at a meeting,” he was unaware of whether the two serving contractors were required to respond to the announcement.