Last Updated on Sunday, 6 August 2017, 22:43 by Denis Chabrol
City Hall has hired several small contractors to help stave off a garbage pile-up after scrapping the garbage collection contracts with two waste disposal companies because they withdrew their services to protest the non-payment of GYD$300 million.
Solid Waste Manager, Walter Narine, however, said under the new arrangement garbage in residential areas would be collected once per week instead of twice. Garbage in commercial areas would continue to be collected daily, he said.
The “three small contractors” would be working along with the Mayor and City Council’s solid waste management section to assist in keeping the City clean.
City Hall’s administration retaliated to Cevons Waste Management and Puran’s after they decided to suspend waste collection from Sunday, August 6, 2017 to protest the repeated failure by the City’s administration in recent weeks to meet to discuss the monies outstanding for more than two years now.
Cevons and Purans cautioned that the use of other providers to collect garbage has adversely affected the process. “Previous withdrawals of service on our part have led to the short-term recruitment of inadequately equipped replacements. That approach has had its own negative consequences,” they said on Saturday.
In correspondence to Cevon’s Waste Management seen by Demerara Waves Online News, Town Clerk Royston King informed that that the suspensions have forced the Mayor and City Council to quash the contract.
“I however, write on behalf of the Mayor and Councillors of the City of Georgetown to inform you that the recent actions by your company to withdraw gar age collections services (from 7th July to 11th July( and the intended action to do so with effect from the 6th August, 20017 is viewed by the Council as a termination of the current contract, since there is no provision within the current contract between the Mayor and City Council and your corporation for the suspension of garbage collection services,” King said in correspondence dated August 4, 2017.
The Town Clerk said every effort is being made to settle the debt, and he appeared to have left the door open for those two waste disposal companies to resume garbage collection in Georgetown. “Nonetheless, considering this new situation, you are hereby advised that you should not return to fulfill the contractual obligations of garbage collection services until and unless the matter is resolved in its entirety,” King said.
No time frame was mentioned about when the debt would be settled.
In a joint statement on Saturday, Cevons and Puran Brothers said they were tired of waiting on the Town Clerk to meet with them, despite repeated promises as well as an assurance by Minister of Communities, Ronald Bulkan. “City Hall continues to commit itself to an unreasonable time frame for the full and final settlement of these debts. Engagements between City Hall and ourselves as have taken place have been characterized by insensitivity, disrespect for the two companies and a shocking level of brazenness. As has already been mentioned City Hall also appears to have no difficulty in giving commitments to make payments then cynically evading those commitments when the time comes to honor them,” the companies said.
The garbage collection companies have copied their letters of suspension to President David Granger.