City businesses that do not properly secure their cardboard packaging are creating a double headache for the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA), as vagrants turn boxes into both home and toilet, an SSA spokesman has revealed.
The authority’s public relations officer, Carl Padmore, said sanitation workers are increasingly being confronted with boxes of faecal waste. He called on businesses to take better care of their refuse until it is collected by the SSA.
Padmore said: “We need to make an appeal to the business owners in Bridgetown to secure the garbage, especially cardboard boxes before we remove it. As we traverse Bridgetown, we are seeing that the card board boxes are just placed outside of the store just like that without any security and it becomes a haven for vagrants and then naturally rodents. When the vagrants go into these card board boxes, they are often stooling in them. So, there is urine and faeces in these cardboard boxes and then our men have to go and interface with this.”
The SSA spokesman suggested it was time that businesses consider recycling their packaging materials.
He said: “There are businesses that do quite a bit of recycling. One such company removes Cave Shepherd’s garbage twice per day,”
Padmore, acknowledging that not all business will be willing to take on the additional cost of having their refuse removed twice per day. But he argued that disposal cost was no excuse for leaving empty boxes unsecured to be taken over by the homeless.
He said: “We know that businesses depend on us but they really need to partner with us otherwise it would make our job extremely difficult. We have to very cautious with our workers because we don’t want them going through garbage that may contain both body fluids and rodents. We are obligated by law to clean Bridgetown six days per week and all people see are see are the streets cleaned on a morning but they don’t understand what the workers go through.”
Padmore sugessted that the firms collapse the boxes and secure them with cord or keep them in a caged receptacle.
In addition to the mess created by vagrants, Padmore charged that ordinary citizens continue to relieve themselves in Bridgetown’s alleys.
He noted that while cleaning these alleys involve power washing them, the pungent odour is intolerable for workers and creates a bad impression for visitors.
“This is totally ridiculous. This is not vagrants that we are talking about. This is regular people that do these things. The only thing that our workers should be encounter in these alleys is few loose pieces of garbage not body fluids. We are coming up on Valentines day and Barbadians need to ask themselves if they truly love their country. This is something that simply cannot be allowed to continue anymore.” Padmore added