An illegal dumpsite at Industrial Site, Ruimveldt, Georgetown is one of many which have been created by establishments in recent times to get rid of large amounts of unwanted waste.
This has caused significant unease among other business enterprises in the area; fearing that the flames can erupt into a disastrous event when unattended.
A security guard attached to a nearby business explained that fires at the illegal dumpsite is a frequent occurrence and poses a threat to establishments, which can lose millions. He added that large boxes and unwanted supplies are burned by employees of some of the businesses in the area and in most cases, they are left to burn late into the evening.
Another guard in the area stated that it is the most convenient way to dispose of the large garbage generation since the two solid waste collectors – Cevon’s Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal – are still not operating due to payment issues. Adding to that, the growing heap of refuse subtracts from the aesthetics of the location, another nearby establishment employee stated.
Cevon’s Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal withdrew their services seven weeks ago from the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) after they were owed some $160 million.
Meanwhile, last week this publication was told that the garbage contractors have resumed limited service in some parts of the city.
Last year, Communities Minister, Ronald Bulkan met with the collectors and officials of City Hall, where a commitment was made for Central Government to bailout City Hall and pay the owed $160 million by the end of 2018. However, this commitment was not fulfilled.
In November of 2017, $475 million was owed to contractors and Minister of State, Joseph Harmon announced that Government would assist the Council by offering some $300 million.
Meanwhile, in 2016, the Georgetown Council found itself in that same position and subsequently voted to ask the Central Government for a $600 million “bailout” to pay creditors and meet expenses.
At present, there has been a struggle to control the large generation of waste at markets and business hotspots with many resorting to empty land spaces to dump their waste. At the Stabroek Square, it continues to linger at parapets and bus zones.
“It yielded what we believe to be credible assurances that settlement of the outstanding debt will commence very shortly. Our understanding is that the first payment will be made before the end of 2018. We have, without prejudice, accepted those assurances,” the service providers jointly said shortly after they announced pulling their services.