Two of the long-awaited Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) trucks should be on Barbadian roads this month.
Minister of the Environment and National Beautification Trevor Prescod said today that after some delay due to circumstances beyond the Government’s control, two trucks are due here later this month from the United States of America.
Prescod recalled that Simpson Motors, the company facilitating the importation of the vehicles, had informed his Ministry of a tariff dispute between Japan and the US which had caused a hold up in their arrival.
The minister also told Barbados TODAY that he had been advised by Simpson Motors that the vehicles, which are to be retro-fitted before coming here, were currently in the US.
“They promised me in writing…they sent correspondence to apologize, indicating they never had this problem before, but that it just happened that at this time they are experiencing it. So they said that at least two or so trucks should come in this month,” Prescod said.
He said he would just have to cross his fingers on the new arrival time of the vehicles.
In September, Prescod had promised that about half of the 15 fleet of second-hand trucks, along with a landfill tractor would be in the island in October.
“We were bringing in 15 . . . . Seven should be in sometime next month [October]. We are also going to be bringing in a D9 compactor as well . . . . That would be equivalent to the one now seen at Mangrove [Landfill], said Prescod on the sidelines of a scholarship and awards presentation in celebration of International Day for the Preservation of the Ozone Layer at the Lloyd Erskine Sandiford Centre (LESC).
Until the compactor lands in Barbados, the SSA is expected to continue renting a private contractor’s machine.
The compactor will replace “the controversial one which the general public was talking about regarding how much money we were paying for that equipment, but we had no alternative in the circumstances,” the environment minister told journalists then.
“We are going to have some trucks here. I am going to put it this way. The first occasion, there was a little ‘cloudy weather’ at that time. We had to examine what was happening carefully. We are in a fairly good position now and I don’t want anything to occur . . . the Prime Minister doesn’t want anything to occur that would be interpreted the wrong way, and we have to make a firm decision on that,” he said then.
He was referring to an incident in August in which a top official of local automotive dealer Courtesy Garage turned up at every meeting in Europe where an official Government team was looking for trucks for the SSA. The Prime Minister had ordered the team to abandon the trip and return to Barbados after the reported mysterious coincidence.
The arrival of the trucks is expected to boost Government’s national waste collection efforts and bring some relief to householders who had been complaining of intermittent collections.