Following reports that garbage collectors have once again threatened to pull their services from the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) for failure to make outstanding payments, this publication was told that smaller contractors were placed on standby should this materialise.
According to the Solid Waste Management Director, Walter Narine, these collectors will commence collection in Georgetown if Cevons Waste Management and Puran Brothers Disposal Incorporated pursue their strike actions on Monday.
Entities who were listed for the job includes Granderson, Trash Tech, Tri Star, C&S Services and Garbage Eaters.
“We would have engaged some smaller contractors and have them ready. On Monday morning, in the case where Puran and Cevons haven’t started their work, the guys would come out and start collecting garbage,” said Narine on Saturday.
He insisted that this will not affect operations in the city since it is not confirmed as to whether services will be pulled. The collectors would have engaged the Council on Friday, asking for a substantial amount of money to continue operations.
“We don’t know if they’re going to pull their services or not. They indicated that without receiving a substantial amount of money, they will withdraw. They had a meeting yesterday (Friday) and that did materialise so I’m waiting on an official letter from them, stating that they will pull their services or not.”
Narine is confident that services will continue as per normal due to improvised mechanisms that he said the Council would have enforced, especially during the holiday season.
“In the event that they pull off their services, we would have put mechanisms in place to continue collecting refuse in the city as per normal. We have an obligation to the citizens of Georgetown so if Puran’s and Cevons’ withdraw for a financial obligation that we did not make, we can’t leave them without refuse collection especially now in the Christmas season,” he posited.
Friday’s negotiations led to no amicable solution to pay the outstanding monies and the contractors appeared positive in their decision to take strike actions.
Both Puran Brothers and Cevons Waste Management had informed media operatives that they were owed over $150 million by City Hall, dating back to since the second quarter of 2018.
Puran Brothers Disposal Service is owed $73 million, while Cevons Waste Disposal is owed $75 million.
Since then, they were contending to cease operations until payments were made since no positive answer arose from their several meetings with the Council. For one of the collectors, the monthly operational expenditure is somewhere in the vicinity of $15 million.
Services were withdrawed by the two main collectors in the past due to pending payments that were owed by City Hall.
Central Government had to intervene and assist City Hall to clear is debt, allowing the entities to resume operations.
However, Government has since made public its position that it could not bail out City Hall after the entity requested same to clear the recurring expenditure.
Some staffers were also dismissed and later rehired when the monies were made available.