Garbage collection restarts but will be impacted this week
Garbage collectors who downed tools last week over a lack of working trash trucks returned to work yesterday morning – but garbage collection will still be impacted for the rest of the week.
A spokesman for the Ministry of Public Works said that although industrial action by the Bermuda Industrial Union had been “partially resolved”, tomorrow’s collection will likely be delayed.
He added: “Residents whose normal garbage collection day is Wednesday are asked to hold on to their garbage and put it out for collection on Saturday.
“The Ministry of Public Works notes that work crews will collect the trash backlog over the next few days.
“The ministry apologises to the public for the inconvenience caused and encourages using the Tynes Bay public drop-off.
“Operating hours are 7am to 7pm daily and 9am until 12pm on public holidays. The ministry will advise when the regular trash collection schedule resumes.”
Garbage collectors took industrial action last Friday after the fleet of waste trucks fell to about two working vehicles.
The action left trash in Zone 5, which includes St George’s, Hamilton Parish and all of Smith’s east of Devil’s Hole Hill, uncollected.
The collectors agreed to return back to work if the public works ministry boosted the number of trash trucks to eight by today.
Chris Furbert, the president of the BIU, confirmed that collectors returned to work around 9am today after the Ministry of Public Works provided them with six working trucks.
He added that the BIU had shared a list of other concerns with the government on behalf of the garbage collectors.
Mr Furbert also asked the public to “have a bit of sympathy”.
He explained: “I think the public has a perception of something that’s going on down there and I think that the perception that they have is all wrong.
“These are real health and safety issues that I’m hoping the public would sit down and have a better understanding about this entire process.”
Mr Furbert added: “Out of one breath these workers are classified as essential service workers, but they’re not given the tools that they need to do their essential work. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.
“These guys have been working through the pandemic, they’ve been out there making sure the trash gets collected and all this kind of stuff that they’ve been through in the last 12 to 15 months, but now they’ve got issues with vehicles and people are saying ‘we should privatise trash collection’.”