Bizzy wants SSA

Businessman offers to run sanitation authority for $60 million

If local business magnate Ralph Bizzy Williams has his way, he will control the country’s entire garbage collection service.

Williams today offered to take over the operations of the troubled Sanitation Services Authority (SSA) for the approximately $60 million which Minister of Finance Chris Sinckler said it was costing Government to operate the waste collection agency.

“You say that the garbage thing is costing about [$60] million a year. Now, you know you own 25 per cent of Williams Industries because you charge me [$25 per tonne tipping fee plus Value Added Tax],” Williams said to Sinckler while contributing to discussions at today’s Barbados Chamber of Commerce and Industry business luncheon at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre.

Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams
Ralph ‘Bizzy’ Williams

“So give me the [$60 million], let me run it. David [Staples, Director of Williams Industries Inc] and I will deal with it. You [won’t] have any core responsibility, you [won’t] have people giving orders with dumping garbage all over the place, but I got to have some influence over the police as well, because we gine lock up a few people,” he said to loud applause.

Barbados TODAY reported last night that Prime Minister Freundel Stuart had recently issued a directive to the SSA to meet with private haulers and to come up with a plan to improve the island’s waste collection, and, following that directive, a meeting was held yesterday at which the SSA agreed to outsource some of its garbage collection services to the private truckers.

Williams’offer today came at a time of renewed talk of privatizing some of the services offered by the state-run SSA, including divestment of the mechanical workshop, which has been plagued in recent months with broken down trucks that have rendered the state agency incapable of adequately meeting the island’s waste disposal requirements.

Opposition Barbados Labour Party Senator Wilfred Abrahams has also alleged that 15 new compactor garbage trucks had recently been imported into the island as part of plans to divest aspects of the SSA’s business.

Williams’ bid received popular support from those attending today’s luncheon, with one member of the audience, who did not want to be identified, aptly capturing the mood when he suggested that Government should “sell the assets to the private sector, give them a contract for $30 million.

“I think [Williams’ offer] is a good start but $30 million would be reasonable, and privatize the sanitation,” he said.

However, Sinckler, while not dismissing the offer altogether, said a key reason for the shortcomings at the SSA was an arrangement that Government had entered into back in 2007 with the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC), a waste treatment operation owned by the Williams Group of Companies.

He said the arrangement had doubled Government’s waste management bill to roughly $60 million.

“Somebody came up with the brilliant idea to have a waste treatment facility because Barbadians were producing volumes and volumes, tonnes and tonnes of waste, and there was no landfill space to accommodate that waste at the rate at which we were producing it. So we added $30 million to the waste treatment management process,” Sinckler charged, adding that this money could have gone into purchasing trucks, parts and equipment for the SSA.   

Earlier in the discussion, the minister had repeated his previously stated position that he was not opposed to privatization of some Government entities, but it had to take place “in the context where it makes sense”.

In any event, he said, should Government privatize the SSA he was not certain who would foot the $50 million to $60 million bill to treat, sort and send waste to the landfill, since it would appear the Barbadian public did not want to shoulder some of the cost.

Sinckler also contended that even if the operation was placed in the hands of the private sector, “eventually somebody is going to come back to Government and ask Government to subsidize that amount because the culture is not there yet in this society for persons to take full responsibility of their waste”.

The Minister of Finance also confirmed the Barbados TODAY report that a plan had been agreed between the SSA and private haulers for garbage collection, disclosing that the operation would likely begin in two weeks.

He told the luncheon the plan would go before Cabinet on Thursday for approval so garbage collection could take place “for the next six months or however long it takes them [SSA] to get the [financial] resources . . . so that we are able to purchase the trucks to replenish the fleet of the SSA”.

Sources with intimate details of the plan told Barbados TODAY last night that the haulers had agreed in principle to service four parishes – St Philip, St Peter, St Lucy and St John – and be paid a fee of $411 per hour for eight hours a day, three days a week, at a cost of approximately $1 million to the SSA.

16 Responses to Bizzy wants SSA

  1. Shaun Maynard
    Shaun Maynard October 4, 2016 at 11:10 pm

    All of this because of bad management in ssa before you guys give it over look at moving all the management including the minister and start fresh, before the solid waste tax garbage was collected twice a week now twice a month I ain’t see no improvement, I thought the tax was to raise money for ssa?

  2. BaJan boy October 4, 2016 at 11:36 pm

    Why don’t they sell Bizzy the Government ???? Anything that will place additional burden on Bajans would be accepted by these semi iliterates who just don’t know how to run the country and too shame,arrogant and power hungry to call an election.

  3. Maria Leclair Dasilva
    Maria Leclair Dasilva October 5, 2016 at 12:02 am

    Regardless to whether it is Bizzy or some other person a good capable business man, it would be a great move in the right direction to privatise the garbage disposal. The is an area which government does not need to own and it would be better for them not to have the financial responsibility. Government has failed at doing a good job, there is nothing to lose, so why not?

  4. Nikita Watson
    Nikita Watson October 5, 2016 at 12:44 am

    I thinks its a bad idea because government don’t have power over private sectors ,that was proven last Wednesday ,so if we sell SSA who to stop bizzy from sending us a monthly bill for garbage ,am just going to sit bk and watch is all unfold.

  5. Meakai October 5, 2016 at 1:45 am

    Yuh cud hide and buy garbage trucks, but yuh can’t hide and wuk dum when you get a $1M contract to help collect garbage.

    Another next thing, how does $411×8h×3d×6m=$1M?

  6. Hal Austin October 5, 2016 at 2:53 am

    No. No. No. If the SSA has to be privatised then find new ways of doing so. Barbados is not for sale to the Williams brothers.

  7. Alex Alleyne October 5, 2016 at 5:21 am

    FAT CHILD all the way if it’s going up for sale. WILLIAMS brothers own too much of BIM as is.

  8. Andrew Simpson October 5, 2016 at 7:30 am

    How about SSA putting routes out to tender. Collection of various types, by the ton. Green waste, recycling and other garbage; so all Barbadians have the opportunity to contribute in preserving value. Remember; a penny saved is a penny earned. And opportunity for all in this; our fiftieth year of independence.

  9. Francis October 5, 2016 at 9:19 am

    No BIZZY
    Fat Child please!!!

    • Carson C Cadogan October 6, 2016 at 9:06 am

      BIZZY piease. He would do a better job.

  10. Sue Donym October 5, 2016 at 11:09 am

    Hasn’t this lot learned anything about these hasty, closed door deals that end up with a Mr Mc Greedy getting a gold mine while John Public gets the shaft?

    This sounds like a done deal just about to be rubber stamped: “The Minister of Finance also confirmed the Barbados TODAY report that a plan had been agreed between the SSA and private haulers for garbage collection, disclosing that the operation would likely begin in two weeks.”

    How long will it be before we learn about some outrageous conditions and clauses that remind of the $11,000.00 ackee tree or Cahill or SBRC? I’m willing to bet that there’ll be some eye-watering penalty or bonus agreement or some arrangement that screams ‘nepotism’.

    Yes we need solutions, but what about the promises of a consultative style of government – hearing suggestions from communities and letting constituents think that their views and experiences matter? Isn’t it yet clear that the style to which they’ve become accustomed is not yielding the best results – except for their well-rewarded consultants. Sigh…

  11. Alex Alleyne October 5, 2016 at 11:53 am

    I can see Bajans paying for the service just like the water. You pay for the amount of garbage you put out.
    We will be crying twice.

  12. Carson C Cadogan October 6, 2016 at 9:00 am

    He should be given the opportunity to own the SSA.

  13. Andrew Simpson October 6, 2016 at 9:23 am

    Agreed that something must be done to improve waste management. But, is this another $ 60M on top of the $ 30M that SBRC already charges for partially processing what remains of the 1000 tons after the tipping fee caused 70 % of waste to be diverted, or $ 60M total for properly handling all the waste generated.
    Who will collect the tipping fee? Will GOB get a credit? Household green waste charged for on the land tax bill should be collected separately so it can be turned into a valuable soil amendment. How about mostly recyclable packaging, which disposal is charged for upon entry with the 2 % levy – will this be separated and recycled to save / gain valuable foreign exchange?

  14. 3rdsun October 6, 2016 at 3:02 pm

    If Mr Williams propose to operate the SSA for $60 Million a year, I counter-propose to run it for $20 Million. Why should Mr Williams get all the sweets. Besides half of that $60M going to his SBRC so he getting paid twice.

  15. Sheron Inniss October 9, 2016 at 8:10 am

    When competency steps out and desperation steps in this is what you get. The highest bidder usually ends up the winner. If Bajans were not so clean we would not have come to this. You can only reap what you sow. Ask Canada how to get it right. Can you imagine travelling a lonely stretch of road and not seeing any garbage? Visit Canada.


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