As Christmas preparations move into high gear, residents across Barbados are being assured that issues related to waste disposal are being addressed.
This assurance has come from Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr Denis Lowe, who said that he is working to ensure that appropriate measures are in place to tackle the issues immediately.
“We are aware of the concerns in the various locations with the removal of skips and the general collection of waste around certain parts of the island,” he said.
Dr Lowe said the Ministry of Finance was making resources available to address some of the fundamental needs of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA). In addition, he emphasised that the SSA’s staff were also doing their best under the circumstances to keep Barbados clean.
“I assure the public that my full attention is being given to this matter, and we are hopeful that we will get through the holiday period with minimum to no challenges with the collection of our waste,” the Minister said.
He explained that the state of equipment had challenged the SSA’s ability to effectively and efficiently provide waste collection across the island.
“Compactors and skip trucks are necessary for us to be able to execute our responsibility with a minimum amount of challenge,” he said, admitting that the process so far, was protracted.
In the interim, he advised householders and commercial enterprises that they should be mindful of the established standards for the setting out of waste, even though it was difficult to establish a schedule for communities.
Dr Lowe appealed to persons to give consideration to ensuring that their garbage was not put out immediately after a vehicle passed. “That is important since most areas get one collection per week with the exception of some commercial areas and densely populated communities,” he explained.
He further reminded the public that a Bulky Waste Collections Programme was established to assist communities with the removal of bulk waste, which was separate and distinct from their municipal waste.
“We started in the north of the island and now we are moving to the south. It is our intention to cover the entire island to remove large bulky items from the curbside,” Dr Lowe said, noting it was not a new programme.
However, the Minister noted that should any community have immediate or pressing needs, then those persons should feel free to call the SSA so assistance could be obtained as quickly as possible.