Waste fee still murky
Private garbage collectors have said it was unclear if there would be adjustments to the controversial tipping fee.
During the June 15 budget presentation, Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler proposed changes to the tariff imposed in May on waste haulers dumping refuse at the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC).
According to spokesman for the Waste Haulers Group Charles Read, Sinckler had proposed the fee be moved from $25 per tonne to $40 per load, and the change was due to take effect from August 1.
However, now that the proposed implementation date has past, Read said there had been no word from Government as to when or if the suggested changes would take effect.
“Right now we are still awaiting clarification in terms of writing from the SSA [Sanitation Service Authority] or from Government,” Read, who is also the managing director of Simpson Trucking and Skip Services, told Barbados TODAY in a telephone interview.
“I was not sure, and I don’t think anyone else is clear as to when or if these changes will take place.”
He revealed that the group last wrote to Minister of the Environment Dr Denis Lowe in May about the measure, but were still awaiting a response. Less than a month before the budget presentation, Dr Lowe had been adamant that the $25 levy was there to stay.
The introduction of the tipping fee on May 4 led to protest by the waste haulers, who argued that the fee was unfair and threatened the survival of their businesses. After six consecutive days the protest fizzled out.
Among those who had opposed the duty was SBRC owner Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams who described it as a “backward step” by Government, while warning that it would only serve to turn Barbados into an illegal dumping ground.
Minister of Industry, Commerce, International Business and Small Business Development, Donville Inniss had also agreed the fee would affect the haulers’ cash flow, telling a joint meeting of the St James North and South branches if the Democratic Labour Party that he met with representatives of the waste haulers and movers to hear their concerns.
Inniss said then that he was of the view that the tipping fee was not just about the SSA nor a matter for the Minister of the Environment alone.