Even with the addition of seven new garbage trucks, the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) is still woefully stretched to keep up with garbage collection demands. This explanation comes from chairman of the SSA, Senator Rudy Grant, who noted that his organisation is not blind to the worrying garbage pileups across the island.
This afternoon Grant told Barbados TODAY that Government received new equipment as recently as last month, which now moves the complement of garbage trucks from 17 to 24. However, this is still ten trucks shy of the 34 trucks needed to adequately service the 150 routes across Barbados.
He revealed that Government has
ordered an additional 12 trucks and he is hoping that they would arrive in Barbados before the end of the year, so as to finally address the worrying garbage collection concerns.
“We would have received seven trucks recently, two medium sized trucks and five large compactor trucks. We have had more tenders and we have indicated the companies that would supply the equipment and our hope is that we would have that equipment by the end of the year. I have to point out that you can’t pick up these compactor trucks from a lot, they have to be built to order,” he said, noting that some components must be ordered from a number of countries before the trucks can be assembled.
“We recognise that there is an urgency and we need to move as quickly as possible to have the equipment available so that we can provide the type of garbage collection that the public of Barbados rightfully deserves,” Grant admitted.
Earlier this month, the island’s continued garbage collection challenges were compounded by disruptions to scheduled pickups as a result of four bank holidays in two weeks, the last of which was on May 1. The result was a number of St Michael communities having to put up with rising mounds of refuse.
Sanitation Service Authority spokesman Carl Alff Padmore attributed the unsightly pileup on SSA workers not being granted overtime among other issues.
However, this afternoon Grant made it clear that while the lack of collection on public holidays has contributed significantly to the backlog, the problem is more complex than that.
“The issue of public holidays had an impact but there are some other factors that I am presently looking at and until I am presented with facts, I would not be able to respond to them as yet. In the meantime, we have launched a programme to ramp up collections in certain problem areas. Depends on how effective this programme is, we may even need to take an even more aggressive approach to the issues,” he stressed.