Fee plea

Call for SSA to reverse tipping charge

Operators and haulers in the solid waste disposal business are calling on the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) to reverse the proposed $25 tipping fee.

The new fee, which was delayed by one month, will go into effect on May 1, and will be applied to every tonne of waste or part thereof disposed at the Williams Industries-owned Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC) in Vaucluse, St Thomas.

During a consultation with key stakeholders at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre last night, garbage haulers said the tax was unreasonable and unfair and should be revisited.

“Most of us here have skip businesses that compete with the SSA and if you are not paying the fee, then that is unfair competition,” said Dave Hinds of Hinds Transport.

“We have haulers here whose cash flow will be significantly impacted on a weekly basis. We have people who deliver probably upwards of 50 skips a day to the landfill, so their cash flow is going to be impacted somewhere between $1,400 per day for the people with the smaller businesses, going up to about $4,000 and $5,000 a day for the bigger collectors.”

Hinds insisted the fee was not clearly thought through.

“I think that this whole system where you are saying that this is it, this is the way, the only way, I think that needs to be revisited because I cannot see myself and a lot of these other businesses giving their truck drivers $5,000 a day in tickets to operate,” he added.

Another operator of a freighting business questioned how the fee would affect their customers.

“You charging a $25 tipping fee and I clearing land for this gentleman and another gentleman, how can I pass this on to the lady or the gentleman that I moving the stuff for? . . . What do I do, carry the bill first and then go? How do I work it out?”

SSA engineer Leona Deane suggested there may be a need to change the way business is done in the sector.

“Because if you are looking to pass the cost on to the customer, you do not want to, in effect, rob yourself of the tipping fee. This is a fundamental shift in the way that we have been doing business. Therefore, you have to adjust your businesses to suit,” she said.

Another member of the audience was not satisfied with the consultation process and asked whether there was any hope of the fee being overturned.

“Is this a process where you are going to consult, and where you are prepared to take into account what we say and revisit some of the decisions that you have already made . . . [or] are all these decisions already cast in stone? Is this an exercise which can result in change?” he questioned.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage Edison Alleyne insisted that the refuse haulers’ cooperation in the matter was important.

Permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage Edison Alleyne pleaded for the haulers’ cooperation.
Permanent secretary in the Ministry of the Environment and Drainage Edison Alleyne pleaded for the haulers’ cooperation.

“Without your cooperation this system is not going to work . . . Currently the SBRC costs the Government something like $21 million. Out of that, 66 per cent is being taken from the private sector and that cost has to be tackled, and that is why the tipping fee has to be introduced in order to help pay for the cost of the disposal of this garbage,” he explained.

Shawn Philips, who has direct responsibility for the disposal of the garbage at the SSA, also told the gathering that the fee was necessary.

“Over the years there has been a continuous increase of the amount of waste being disposed at our disposal facilities and to ensure that we provide you with the facilities to address the sustainable management of waste disposal, the transfer station SBRC came into being,” he said.

“We have long seen the benefits of it . . . Now it’s time that we work together and appreciate those. With the implementation of the tipping fee, this will assist with the continued management and operation of our facilities at Mangrove pond landfill.”

Project Manager in the ministry’s Project Management and Coordinating Unit Ricardo Marshall added: “When we are talking about a tipping fee, that does not specifically come in and start with the SBRC but what has certainly happened is that the cost of managing waste has gone up with the introduction of SBRC into the group of players.”

7 Responses to Fee plea

  1. Alex Alleyne April 10, 2015 at 7:08 am

    Home owners had to grin and bear it , why not you . none shall escape .

  2. Santini More
    Santini More April 10, 2015 at 7:35 am

    Another imposition of an ill thought out ‘Tax Grab’…Our fields and gullies will bear the brunt of this short sighted foolishness…smh

  3. David Gibson
    David Gibson April 10, 2015 at 8:35 am

    let me put this in some perspective …if ur planning on selling or building on a piece of land lets say approximately 3000 or 4000 sq ft. and i have to bring my ten wheeler dump truck to freight away the debris the average cost would be about $500.00 . now thanks to the ssa that wud now be increased to at least $800.00.keeping in mind that it;s the small lots i’m talking about not the big 10,000 sq ft ones ,but u get the picture….now if u have to dig a fondation n the residual rubble or dirt has to be taken away lord help u ..cuz dirt weight a lot more than grass , and if its wet …. i literally and honestly doan know who sat and came up with such a ridiculous price increase , ironically we will be paying to dump at sbrc who in turn will take the the same debris recycle most of it and then attempt to sell it back to us …. #iseeilligaldumping

  4. G MacDonald April 10, 2015 at 9:01 am

    The beautiful island of Barbados is suffering from extensive littering as it is. Perhaps an additional fee to resorts and rental properties for their waste would alleviate the cost to resident islanders and discourage further littering.

  5. Tony Webster April 10, 2015 at 9:30 am

    The biggest revelation I have discerned from this town-hall meeting; is this: the private-sector is Government’s bankers. De facto, if not in name. And the onllies’ li’l wrinkle to figure out is dis: Does govament got somebody by de short an’ curly; or somebody got goverment’s treasures in a bag?

  6. Watchman April 10, 2015 at 9:55 am

    Nobody does complain and cry out more than the so called business people. The same ones that collect and fail to remit VAT, the same ones that do not declare all, if any of their income to the Inland Revenue Department. Everything is to be hobby class.

  7. Leeann Jordan
    Leeann Jordan April 10, 2015 at 11:03 am

    Forgive them Lord for they know not the direction to take and would not seek and wait for good and proper counsel from You!


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