SSA: Waste haulers’ offer a complex issue
by carlosatwell @nationnews.com
While two Government ministries are accepting the help of a private waste hauler with open arms, another Government entity is being more cautious.
Jose Y Jose Liquid & Solid Waste Management Inc., run by chairman of the Waste Haulers Association Anderson Cherry, is working with the Ministry of Transport, Works and Maintenance and the Ministry of Environment on two projects – drain cleaning in The City and bulk waste removal in Bonnett’s, Brittons Hill, St Michael.
However, the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) has not responded to correspondence for assistance and it does not appear this will happen any time soon.
“The Waste Haulers Association has extended an offer to the SSA to give them collection trucks to use free of charge. A combined effort by five waste haulers – Jose Y Jose, Project Recycle, Williams Tools, Garbage Master and Forde Trucking and Rental Services – can see a sweeping of garbage from the streets this weekend but they have not accepted the offer up to now,” Cherry said on Tuesday.
The waste hauler said they first made their offer for last weekend but continued to hold it open for this weekend.
“We’re still awaiting word from the SSA. We haven’t heard anything about our suggestion yet but are still humbly willing to work if the need necessitates as we know a storm is coming in. It’s not a case where we are jumping up to work for free; we just want to assist and our equipment is available to the SSA.
“We as waste haulers came together in a meeting and decided to give back as we understand the country is cash-strapped and with a hurricane in the vicinity we wanted to help,” he said.
Cherry said the five haulers were making 15 waste collection trucks available, inclusive of compactor trucks and skips, while requesting the diesel and routes be handled by the SSA.
“We are aware that Government is trying its best to get the issue addressed . . . . We believe this will be to the benefit of all Barbadians – a clean environment, one that is free from all pests and rodents,” Cherry said.
SSA general manager Rosalind Knight confirmed she had received the correspondence but said the matter was not a simple one.
“While it is welcome, it is also complicated. That would have to be discussed at the board level and the union level. There are a lot of things that would have to be ironed out first,” she said.
On the other hand, Cherry has been in town using what he said was the island’s first hydro excavator, the Vactor 2100 Plus Hydro Jetter, to clear drains on the behest of the drainage unit. He was also part of the walkthrough on Wednesday in Bonnett’s, a bulk waste removal initiative by constituency representative Dr William Duguid, the Minister of Transport, Works and Maintenance, who has partnered with the Ministry of Environment, under which the SSA falls.
Cherry said he would be there on Saturday assisting in the removal of derelict vehicles and bulk waste such as large appliances.
Owner of Jose Y Jose, Anderson Cherry (second left), watching as his team clears a drain along Chapel Street, The City, using the Vactor 2100 Plus.