City helping to deal with trash problems
The Bermuda Government has been required to borrow trash trucks from the City of Hamilton because of its own shortages.
Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch said his public works ministry had faced difficulties collecting garbage all year and would probably continue until new trash trucks arrive in December.
The minister said: “We often have an issue with collection of the bulk refuse containers as we are short of lift trucks capable of providing that service for the almost 300 bins located at schools, institutions, condominiums and communal collection points island-wide.
“As part of the continuous assessment of garbage collection, the ministry arranged with the Corporation of Hamilton and various private sector contractors to utilise their vehicles to assist with bin collection.
“In the case of the Corporation of Hamilton, Saturday is the day that they can assist without adversely affecting collection on the city, so for the past several weeks corporation trucks have been used to collect garbage. Private contractors have been used on an as-needed basis.
“This arrangement will remain in place until the arrival and commissioning of new trash trucks in December which will be capable of lifting the BRC bins.”
The Government switched to a weekly trash collection in February because of problems with trash trucks and to cut its overtime bill. The Vector Control service has said reports of rats have increased near trash collection points, and residents have been repeatedly urged not to put out their garbage early.
Colonel Burch said today that the weekly collection “in the main is being adequately managed with household waste being collected on the day it is scheduled”.
A spokeswoman for the City of Hamilton said it has a mutually beneficial arrangement with the Ministry of Public Works.
She said: “Government has had some vehicles grounded due to whatever reason and they asked us to assist while they get back up and running to full capacity. We have a good, mutually beneficial relationship with public works and lend support and assistance when needed to each other.
“We charge Government at cost for the labour only. Same as when they provide us labour. We supply equipment parts to each other.
“They have loaned us mechanics when we were short and they provided labour and equipment when we paved the dock in April.”
Colonel Burch said in June that on average eight trucks were in service daily, but that five new trash trucks were expected to arrive on the island in November.
He said at that time: “I must caution, though, that even with the five new trucks, we will still not be at a full complement of vehicles as many of the trucks currently in the fleet have surpassed their life expectancy.”
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