Lowe: Tipping fee solution coming

Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe today admitted that private garbage collectors had grounds to protest the controversial $25 tipping fee, while assuring that his ministry was closer to finding a solution to the matter.

Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe
Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe

Speaking to the media following a tour and ceremony to mark Environment Week at the West Terrace Primary School, Lowe reiterated that the fee, which caused concerned haulers to stage a one-week strike following its May 4 implementation, was being reviewed.

The private waste haulers have been demanding that the fee be scrapped on the grounds that its implementation was unfair and had threatened the survival of their businesses. The protest was halted on May 18 after Lowe held a five-hour meeting between the Waste Movers and Waste Haulers Group at his Warrens, St Michael office.

According to Lowe, the more than 150 waste haulers had agreed to present their business profiles to the Ministry for review in order for some of the facilities they requested to be implemented. He said this process was currently being conducted.

“We are making great progress and I am sure that when we convene again that they are going to be very pleasantly surprised.

“I had a conversation very recently with one of the waste haulers, Mr Anderson Cherry, and he did indicate that some of them are going to be travelling over the next week or two. I did ask him when everybody is going to be able [to meet] that we can have the meeting set,” Lowe explained.

Just over a week ago, while the private haulers and movers had been anticipating a compromise on the fee, the Ministry of Environment and Drainage, through a Government Information Service (GIS) release, issued a reminder that the charge for disposal of waste at the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre remained in place.

Waste haulers protested in May to the introduction of the controversial tipping fee.

The Minister also explained that payments could be made at the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) by purchasing a full book of tickets at any given time, or a single ticket for those dumping less than one tonne of waste.

“They have expressed some concerns about the part thereof and I believe that they have argued successfully that it would have to be considered on a platform of equity if I take 1.1 tonnes of this and yet have to pay for two tonnes.

“Most of the waste haulers have small vehicles and they sometimes don’t make a tonne. We have looked at that very carefully and I think that we have worked out a formula that could be beneficial to everybody,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, when contacted, spokesperson for the private haulers Charles Read told Barbados TODAY that while he heard the Minister’s update in the news today, members were still awaiting an official update from the Ministry.

Read said in the interim, as a show of good intent, the haulers had put all their trucks back to work, but he insisted that the protest had only been put on pause, to allow the Ministry to conduct its review.

4 Responses to Lowe: Tipping fee solution coming

  1. Patrick Blackman June 3, 2015 at 12:41 am

    Why would you have implemented this tipping fee without due diligence being done, unless your intent was to disgrace the government and yourself. This type of behaviour is the root cause of problems in this country. Fools like you Mr. Minister is the problem.

    There are too many waste haulers in the country, these guys need to consolidate and become more efficiency and sustainable. Its better to be a 10% owner of a million dollar company than a 100% owner of a 10k company.

  2. David Gibson
    David Gibson June 3, 2015 at 12:59 am

    i dont think he understand that we want the fee removed not ammended , or changed or reviewed ,, we want it gone !!!! pure and simple !!!

  3. Cheryl A Rollins
    Cheryl A Rollins June 3, 2015 at 3:04 am

    This man is a complete menace. What is being done to the garbage pile up in the Rockley, Navy Garden, Nelson Road, Dayrells Road, Hastings area? We have not seen a truck in three weeks. Take that smile of your face and dispatch one like yesterday. We can’t be without water, displaced by road works and have garbage pile up to.

  4. Alex3 June 5, 2015 at 1:17 pm

    As a long time visitor to Barbados (1980 was the first) I wonder whether punishing small waste haulers is a clever thing to be doing.
    As things have evolved over the years it seems to me that government should be rewarding people for cutting down on solid waste.
    The streets are littered with beverage containers but if there was a point of sale environmental charge coupled with a refund of say 50% of that charge I know there are lots of folks that will make it a part of their day to recycle these things and pick up the ones that get tossed by the wayside. This will clean up the streets and reduce solid waste.
    Stores have to get away from plastic bags. Sure you can put meat into a small bag but do we need a handle bag for 2 or 3 items? I have 4 cotton handle bags in my supply bin in Barbados.
    I can carry 20 lb in each if I wish to. An average weekly shopping will go into 3 bags max. When I go for a few things and forget my bags, I use my pockets and my hands to carry them home.
    In the apartment complex where I stay, there is no easy way to recycle wine and spirits bottles. I can take my beer bottles and cans back behind Massy’s in Holetown but there is no convenient way to recycle the others. Maybe a law requiring condos and apartment to have recycling bins on site would cut down on solid waste.
    Like Vancouver Island which is my other island home, Barbados is an island with limited landfill space. Eventually there will be no space if something is not done to cut down on solid waste.
    Some incentive of a postive nature to reduce, reuse and recycle will go a long way.


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