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Haulers staying on

HEATHER-LYNN EVANSON, [email protected]

Haulers staying on

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Private garbage haulers will continue to work alongside the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) as the SSA struggles to put trucks on the road to clear piles of household garbage across the island.

And they will be working, said Minister of the Environment Trevor Prescod, until the SSA gets either new or second-hand trucks sometime later this year.

He was speaking on Sunday, moments after attending a service at St Barnabas Anglican Church to bless the 2018 Crop Over Festival.

Prescod stressed that the partnership between the private haulers and the SSA had to continue.

“Just because the Government was changed, especially in the interim period, it would be insane for me to just decide we don’t need the private haulers because the problem is still there,” he said.

“We haven’t been able to purchase the new trucks or the second-hand trucks as yet, but all of that will be done this year for sure. We recognise the urgency of addressing this problem and we are going to make sure we do it as swiftly as possible.”

He added his ministry and the SSA were exploring every avenue to ensure those 15 trucks were brought in.

“Right now we only have 15 trucks running a day and the requirement is for double that number in order to provide the adequate service that is required to clean the entire country on a regular basis,” Prescod said.

“So some districts don’t have the privilege of having a garbage truck coming into the area some weeks, and sometimes it piles up and goes a lot further than that because then you get rodents and a lot of unhealthy conditions being created as a consequence of it.”

The pilot plan with the private haulers was originally instituted in October 2016 to help the state-owned entity deal with the unsightly build-up of garbage in the northern parishes.

Garbage Master Ltd, which had joined forces with Forde’s Freighting and Rental Services, Jose Y Jose/Project Recycle Ltd, Simpson Trucking and Skip Services, and Williams Liquid and Solid Waste Management, were the haulers contracted.

The cost had also raised eyebrows when it was revealed they were being paid $411 per hour per truck for a six-month period, which worked out to be more than $3 million. (HLE)