Fresh concern about illegal dumping as SSA works to reduce unsightly pile ups
Relief is on the way for householders who have been affected by little or no garbage collection over the past several weeks.
Public Relations Officer of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) Carl Padmore acknowledged today that the southern zone was hardest hit, but he said the SSA was working to rectify the situation and ensure a return to normalcy.
Speaking to the media after a session entitled The Environment and You at the Glebe Resource Centre in St George this afternoon, he explained that between last Friday and Monday, crews had been busy working around-the-clock to the extent that the Authority had already seen a decline in complaints.
He acknowledged that the problem facing the SSA was one of an ageing vehicle fleet, but stressed that the number of collection vehicles on the road were more than ten, contrary to some reports.
“So it is not that they [the vehicles] are breaking down all the time, [but] these vehicles sometimes work four shifts a day to get the issue of garbage sorted in Barbados,” Padmore said.
“In the [United] States, the garbage collection might be once a day, early morning, and then for the balance of the day the vehicle is off the road; in Barbados, our vehicles don’t rest.
“The crews rest, and the vehicles are working harder, and you would find that we would pull a vehicle off the road to do regular checks, and you have to do regular changes to the vehicle,” he said, while stating that, in the coming months, the SSA would be looking to get a more “manageable” fleet of vehicles.
In the meantime, Padmore is encouraging persons to avoid indiscriminate dumping. Of grave concern to the SSA is an increase in dead animals and faeces being placed in the garbage, especially in some St Michael districts where he said some residents persisted with improper garbage disposal practices even though they had been told how to properly deal with their garbage.
“They continue to put human faeces and the pampers in the garbage, dead animals, needles, and that concerns us,” Padmore said.
“There is a lot of disregard for health, and it is not really the health of sanitation workers only, but for them [residents].
“Once you continue to dump illegally, you block the drains. . . and we are working closely with the Minister of Health with that,” the SSA official added.
Noting that bulk waste was again on the increase, Padmore urged the public to take advantage of the SSA’s free commercial department and bulk waste collection. He stated that persons could contact the Authority before they planned to clean house, so as to arrange pick up and to avoid the unnecessary build up of garbage.