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Garbage woes can be solved


PASTOR JOSEPH GRIFFITH

Garbage woes can be solved

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I AM CERTAINLY SYMPATHETIC with Government in the task of managing the collection of garbage, one of the most vexing issues for the country.

At the same time, I have always asked the question: why does Barbados remain lost for solutions when there are international models that can either be adopted or adapted to suit our situation?

This is true in several areas. For example, for how long was the traffic on the ABC Highway held up because of the absence of acceleration and deceleration lanes? Still we have not employed the idea of separation of garbage or adopted the use of paper bags; these are all practised in the United States and other countries.

The recent fee structure at Mangrove suggests Government’s intention toward privatisation; that policy is not my concern here. What is not clear is whether the Government intends to significantly increase its garbage collection fleet and the frequency of garbage collections.  This is a necessary consideration as the current practice is a disincentive for homeowners to either send or personally transport garbage to the landfill, which would reduce the load on garbage collection.

A homeowner will sometimes pay a small fee to have some items disposed of at the landfill, but as it is now, he will have to pay an additional $35; and this is the minimum as it is weight-influenced. In a country of pet lovers and animal rearing, God forbid that your pet puppy dies or say one of your sheep.

Associated with any decision to reform the management of garbage collection is the consideration to be practical and to facilitate the maintenance of the aesthetics and health of the country.

But there is a further issue with the current structure. All vehicles entering Mangrove have to pay the appropriate fee which can be paid by ticket only. Tickets can only be collected from the Licensing Authority in the Pine. Look at the practicality of this.

How many people will leave Shop Hill, next door to Mangrove, and go to the Pine to purchase a ticket to return to Mangrove, a journey of 13 miles, not knowing what the weight will be? Further, what happens if your pet dies on a weekend or outside of the Pine’s working hours and when the landfill is still open?

Any disregard to this basic fact will be counter-productive. Is there not a case for consideration for special treatment of  “domestic” garbage? I think there is, else we will have the obvious gradual increase of garbage for collection by the Sanitation Department.

Are these simple considerations the prerogative of Parliament or are they regulatory considerations?

– PASTOR JOSEPH GRIFFITH

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