Issues of indiscriminate dumping of garbage in The City will be addressed during a town hall meeting to be called by officials at the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) soon.

Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, today gave instructions for a town hall meeting to be held to educate residents following newspaper reports of garbage pile-up in some City areas.

He noted that while it was recognised that the SSA needed to continue striving to do better with its collection schedules, the indiscriminate way the waste was thrown on the curb was also cause for concern.

???There is a prescribed way under the regulations of the SSA on how householders should place their waste out for collections. I have instructed that a town hall meeting be held in The City, particularly in the areas affected, to either make known to the residents, or remind the residents as to how this process should work,??? the Minister said.

He explained that no bag or bags of household waste should be thrown on the curbside, but be placed in a container. ???I have asked the authorities to move swiftly to provide containers that can be distributed to residents at the town hall meeting to assist them in the placement of their household waste for collection.

???When waste is thrown out like this it gives rise for dogs, and cats and rodents to come and to disturb the waste while they scavenge for food. Therefore, the regulation requires that waste be put in plastic or metal containers of a prescribed size in a prescribed condition with prescribed weight attached so that it is easier for the waste to be collected,??? Dr. Lowe pointed out.

However, the Minister has also called on the SSA to establish a collection day for waste in the City where possible. ???We do know the constraints we have had over the years, [and] we do understand that from time to time there is no functional equipment to readily respond to the collection period. That is now being fixed.

???I am asking the relevant authority in the Sanitation Service Authority to make the necessary adjustments to ensure that residents are notified of a collection day and time to ensure that waste is collected on schedule,??? he stated.

Dr. Lowe added that during the town hall meeting residents would be fully informed as to how that system would work and how they would be required to assist in keeping their communities clean.

???This is…The City of Bridgetown, the capital of Barbados, and this should never obtain again because this is not the type of image that we want to portray of our City and its worthy residents,??? he stated.

However, the Environment Minister has also called on the media to not only capture such stories, but also take their responsibility in educating the public seriously. ???In a story??? there should be a piece that reminds residents of their responsibility in terms of the disposal of their waste,??? he said, adding that the media would be invited to the town hall meeting and given information critical to educating the public about their roles and responsibilities.

While apologising for what occurred in The City, Dr. Lowe pledged the Ministry???s and the SSA???s commitment to work towards the situation not recurring.

???Development is a work of art. It is a process. Sustainable development requires more than just intention; it requires strategies and planning, it requires communication and collaboration among all players in a society. Since we are moving on a very clear development path this is our opportunity to assist the country in helping to develop Barbados together,??? he concluded.

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