City Hall cuts back on hiring private garbage collection companies; using its own trucks, staff

Last Updated on Saturday, 20 August 2016, 15:50 by Denis Chabrol

The two major solid waste companies in Georgetown have been suspended from collecting commercial and domestic garbage in certain areas as City Hall says the municipality is now equipped to pick up refuse and save much needed cash.

“My department is equipped with garbage trucks and staff so we have decided to suspend these services of the contractors and do it ourselves.  In this way we will be saving costs,”  Director of Solid Waste Management, Walter Narine told Demerara Waves Online News on Saturday.

Officials of Puran Brothers Disposal Inc and Cevons Waste Management Inc, which are together owed more than GYD$200 million by City Hall since last year, said they received letters from the Narine telling them that they would be no longer required to collect garbage from Monday, August 22, 2016.

No reason was given in the letters.

Narine said on his Facebook Profile that from Monday a number of “communities will be receiving refuse collections from the Solid Waste Management Department instead of the private contractors.”

Those areas are Queenstown to Kingston (Group 8), East Ruimveldt to North East La Penitence (Group 7), Commercial districts (Group 10) and Lamaha Springs and Lamaha Park. He said the present collection schedule is still the same.

Director of Puran Brothers, Kaleshwar Puran, meanwhile, told Demerara Waves Online News that his company would be affected by the decision either way because City Hall has not been paying for services provided for the past several months. “It would affect us partially but at the same time we are not being paid too so I am not sure,” he told Demerara Waves Online News. “We have been putting our best foot forward in getting the city cleaned up to an extent so I am not sure what arrangements they have,” he said.

City Hall owes Puran Brothers an estimated GYD$50 million since December, 2016. The company received a small payment last week.  Head of Cevons Waste Management, Morse Archer told Demerara Waves Online News  that the Mayor and City Council owes his company GYD$168 million since August, 2015.

“They said they don’t have money to pay. We were happy to clean up Georgetown in good faith that we would have been paid because you know the tons and tons of garbage we were moving,” he said.

In recent months, alleyways and drains around Georgetown have been clogged up again with waste and vegetation, pointing to the absence of an effective maintenance programme.