Jun 16, 2009 News Comments Off on City Hall pays solid waste contractors $40M
– Garbage collection to resume today
City Hall has been able to pay close to $40M to solid waste contractors, a sum that will see them resuming garbage collection in the city today.
This disclosure was made by the municipality’s Public Relations Officer, Royston King, yesterday.
The contractors, Cevon’s Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal Service, had withdrawn their service last Monday, due to the municipality’s inability to pay them for the past three months.
Reports are that the debt, which also includes arrears from a period of last year, had amounted to about $60M.
According to Public Relations Officer, Royston King, based on information from the municipality’s Treasury Department, a final tranche of the payment is likely to be made to the contractors by Friday.
However, King said, with the recent payment to the contractors, they have agreed to resume their operation in anticipation of the remainder being paid soon.
Due to the situation, waste from households around the city up to yesterday, was not picked up.
And according to King, in a statement issued yesterday, the situation has affected some 42,000 households, which represents approximately 180,000 people residing in the city.
In addition he said that some 60,000 people who visit the city on a daily basis to conduct business and other activities, have been affected.
“The council understands this situation and is working with a deep sense of urgency to encourage its garbage contractors to resume work.”
King disclosed that Director of Solid Waste Management, Hubert Urlin, has reported that many citizens had been visiting the landfill site to dispose of their garbage. “The council is extremely grateful for this demonstration of public co-operation and support to its effort to deliver service, in the face of this growing financial challenge to meet all the needs of the citizens of Georgetown.”
“Notwithstanding that, there are other reports that a few citizens have been dumping their waste on open spaces and on other city reserves.”
According to King, such actions could only do harm to the environment and the health of citizens.
And in recognition that the garbage issue brings with it serious public health implications, King said that the municipality has been working assiduously to bring a swift relief to residents.
He said that the council is pleading with citizens to desist from dumping their garbage anywhere other than at the landfill site.
Meanwhile, citizens are being urged to pay up their property taxes and honour their civic responsibility to enable the municipality to fulfil its mandate to the capital city, King noted.
He pointed out that “property waste accounts for more than 70 per cent of council’s total revenue. If citizens do not pay, then the municipality would be hard pressed to honour its financial obligations to its contractors and others who assist in providing services to the city.”
Nonetheless, King said that the municipality would like to thank all citizens for their understanding and patience during the period of its financial plight, even as he expressed optimism that the situation within the treasury department will improve in the near future.
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