Prime Minister Mia Mottley has announced that her administration will be entering an agreement with the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre (SBRC) to help deal with the garbage problem facing the country.
In an address tonight to outline several initiatives, Mottley said she was satisfied that enough was being done to adequately equip the Sanitation Services Authority (SSA) with trucks to alleviate garbage collection woes.
But she added that the Government would be working with the SBRC to help provide an income stream for the SSA so that taxpayers are not burdened any further.
Residents are already paying a Garbage and Sewage Contribution Levy at $1.50 per day, of which $1.25 goes to the SSA and the rest goes to the Barbados Water Authority. Businesses pay 50 per cent of their current water bills.
However, Barbadians have been crying out over the past few months about garbage pile ups, as they demand progress to be made in addressing the ongoing garbage problem.
“We are already in partnership with the private waste haulers to help us with bulky waste. We have already recognized that even in the reduction of the amounts that we pay the SBRC – and we have reduced their amount from $24 million a year to $14 million a year – that we will work with them towards a joint venture with respect to renewable energy, to help create another stream of income for the Sanitation Services Authority, so that your taxes don’t have to carry the SSA’s work alone,” Mottley promised.
“Equally, we have determined that we will work with civil society to finally work towards the introduction of a comprehensive educated programme for recycling in Barbados. We can no longer believe the SSA alone can do it, and I have asked the chairman to reach out to the Future Centre Trust and other institutions to work in tandem with them to ensure that we can turn the corner and that this can be a thing of the past to get behind us”.
Addressing the purchase of the new trucks being used by the SSA, the Prime Minister did not explain the announced cost of $400 000 per truck, but gave the assurance that they were sourced according to the procurement rules.
“We have already purchased and received nine trucks from one supplier, ten that came in recently, and there are another ten that are about to come in the next two to three months. Those were all paid for and they are two definite, separate suppliers, both are in accordance with the procurement rules. The first went to full tender and that required nine months for the delivery of those 12 trucks that are now to come,” she said.
“During the course of late October, the SSA received a request that it could have supplied to them, from one of the best known manufacturers compactor trucks that could come within a month. Under the procurement rules, Government is allowed to do emergency procurement in a crisis. Do I need to ask you whether we had a crisis of garbage collection in this country? I think not, and I think the important thing is that we work with the workers of the SSA in partnership,” added Mottley, who said that she was hurt at the garbage situation in the country “just like it hurts you too”.