— even as garbage trucks may come on unscheduled days
ALTHOUGH Solid Waste Management Director, Walter Narine continues to insist that residents in Georgetown are receiving at least one clearance of their garbage per week, many are complaining of receiving no clearance for two weeks and more.
The problem could be that some residents are sticking to the schedule and putting out their garbage only on the day marked for their collection. However, when the trucks run late on occasion, they cease collection in the area but return the following day, or even days later.
“But the truth is that before the end of every week, every group in Georgetown does receive a clearance,” Narine told Chronicle in an invited comment on Thursday.
Hence, residents may need to make their garbage available for collection on days other than those originally scheduled.
“When we go the following day, we honk our horns and many residents respond. But for those who pull in their bins; when the trucks pass the next day and they’re not at home, we don’t get to clear them.” The workers do not venture into people’s yards to remove garbage.
To compound the problem, the Haags Bosch Landfill Site, located aback Eccles on the East Bank Demerara closes at 20:00hrs each day.
“My problem is our ability to complete household collection in the groups. We most times have to leave off the work because if we don’t, then the landfill closes and we can’t keep the refuse in the truck overnight due to rodents, etc,” Narine explained.
At Monday’s statutory meeting, Narine reported how he has since written to Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan for permission to have the opening hours at the site extended.
“We met with the Deputy Permanent Secretary (Jaigobin Saisingh) and Mr. Gordon Jilkes (Head of Sanitation Department at Communities Ministry) about two weeks ago and they promised to set up a meeting with us and Purans to discuss the way forward, but to date, that meeting has not happened.”
Puran Brothers Disposal Services is the contractor managing the site.
Narine said he is hopeful that the ministry will convene the meeting so that an amicable solution could be met.
Meanwhile, the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) is finding it increasingly difficult to cover garbage collection on its own in Georgetown and has since moved to reduce collections in some quarters due to overwhelmingly high amounts of waste from residents.
After its two main contractors – Purans Disposal Services and Cevons Waste Management – pulled their services early in August, the M&CC had boasted that this new development has ‘opened their eyes’ to the possibility of providing the same services competently on their own, and that the money saved could be paid to the contractors to cover heavy, outstanding debts.
But Narine had said in a previous interview that areas such as Charlestown, Albouystown, Wortmanville and Werk-en-Rust, were producing significantly more waste than others and that twice-weekly clearance would have had to be changed to once weekly.
Residents of Charlestown and Albouystown, though, had confirmed to the Guyana Chronicle that they were hardly getting even the once-per-week clearance.
“We put out our barrels and leave them there for days and then we just take them back inside when we are tired of waiting,” a resident of St. Stephens Street, Charlestown said on condition of anonymity.
While Town Clerk Royston King had said that the M&CC was looking to open new talks with the garbage contractors, representatives of both companies told Chronicle that they have not heard once from the City Council to date.