Written schedules for garbage collection are part of the changes in the works to improve the service delivery of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) to the public.

This announcement was made recently by Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, during a press conference at his Warrens Tower II, Warrens, St. Michael, office.

Mitsubishi 2006

Dr. Lowe made the point that daily or weekly garbage collection in every district across Barbados was no longer a sustainable option. “Jamaica just informed their citizens that they will no longer be doing more than one collection per week per district because it is unsustainable. That is the reality,” he stated.

The Minister also disclosed that the quantity of waste produced daily in Barbados now stood at 1,400 tonnes, while the cost of a compactor stood at between $460,000 and $470,000 per truck. (EDITOR’s NOTE – If there are 1,400 tonnes per day, why reduce collections from a daily or weekly basis? Would compactors be cheaper if obtained via RIMCO, if so, then why not?)

He explained that in the first instance, a pilot programme would be launched in a neighbourhood, where routes would be identified and a written schedule established. That schedule, he said, would outline the days for collection and how residents should dispose of their garbage.

In addition, the Environment Minister revealed that the SSA was preparing to launch a fleet and route management study to guide the process and incorporate changes in the demographics of Barbados. (EDITOR’s NOTE –  Was a Tender put out for this study? Did it appear in print media as an Advertisement inviting tenders?)

The study would help us electronically map out the country and each district will be known for its villages and its small routes. We will know whether or not it is best to send a large compactor or a small compactor. We will know the size of the growth of waste in districts now, as we have to understand it on a scientific level,” he said.

He added that the SSA was operating on a 40-year-old template which has not been modernised since its inception. Therefore, he pointed out, the challenge was not to look for a “quick fix” to the issue, but to address the challenges in the system and ensure that it was reformed and renewed to respond to Barbados’ needs. (EDITOR’s NOTE – Lowe claims SSA was not modernised in 40 years, so how many times was a website proposed for the SSA and why did it never reach fruition if one was suggested?)

The Minister also announced plans to establish a hotline at the SSA soon, to allow members of the public to call if they are not having their collections on schedule. The Authority would then be responsible for committing to servicing that location within 24 to 48 hours. (EDITOR’s NOTE – Is this separate from Pet Patrol? 426-4625? Sponsored by Simpson Motors and the BHTA?)

In addition, the Minister said officials were fast tracking the repair of garbage trucks, and again reiterated his promise that there would be a minimum of 25 trucks on the road by the middle of December. He also pointed out that Government was in the process of ordering 20 new vehicles for the SSA. (JRB/BGIS)

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