After considering the feasibility of operating without payments and being owed for over six months, two major garbage collectors of the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) – Puran Brothers Disposal Incorporated and Cevons Waste Management – withdrew their services on Monday as planned.
This was confirmed by the Solid Waste Management Director, Walter Narine, who informed that small contractors have already stepped in to provide garbage collection services in the city. However, all of them will alternate until the issue is sorted out.
“Purans and Cevons would have pulled their services as of today (Monday). They (small contractors) would have already stepped in. We won’t see all of them out today because they work different days,” said Narine.
This publication understands that the owed companies were delaying the withdrawal of their services as they waited for City Hall to offer some of the $160 million owed to them, but since this was not forthcoming they implemented the full withdrawal.
Until payment is made in a significant sum, the garbage collectors are contending that their withdrawal stands.
For now, garbage collection services will be provided by five small agencies: Granderson, Trash Tech, Tri Star, C&S Services and Garbage Eaters.
Puran Brothers’ Managing Director Khalesh Puran had previously said that he had high hopes of being paid. However, a meeting was facilitated by the Council the following day and no positive resolution surfaced.
It was also indicated that the companies were engaged by the Council several times, but there were no discussions on how these payments would be made. The last engagement was on Friday and this prompted the two firms to divulge that they have “no confidence” in the local body.
They explained that they withdrew their service over an outstanding debt of $160 million. Shockingly, the companies noted that this debt accumulated from June of this year.
According to the companies, they want their June and July arrears paid by November month end; August and September payments by December 31 and the resumption of regular payments as stipulated in their contracts in February. They called on Government to intervene in support of this process to ensure efficient garbage disposal.
In a statement dated last week, City Hall explained that “… because of a serious financial shortfall, the Council is unable to honour its obligation to both contractors in a timely manner, a situation which the Council regrets.”