|Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe (FP)|
The Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) is about to undergo major restructuring as Barbados continues to pursue establishing its green economy.
This was announced today by Minister of the Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, who disclosed that the restructuring process had already started with a review of the existing systems and establishing areas of priority.
Areas identified as part of the restructuring process include the SSA’s administration; its human resource management; and its collection, mechanical and commercial services.
In addition, Dr. Lowe said the lead management position at the SSA would undergo a name change – from General Manager to Chief Executive Officer; an office would be established to deal with human resource management; and all of the authority’s commercial services would be streamlined to enhance its revenue generating capacity.
The Minister explained the collection process would be reviewed to reflect the growing housing stock in Barbados, while ensuring that there was no decrease in service to existing areas.
Meanwhile, Cabinet has already approved the establishment of a new mechanical workshop for the SSA to improve the capacity of the authority to more effectively service its vehicles.
"We need to bear in mind that we are moving from a 40-year-old institution established to pick-up and dump garbage to a modernised institution where the collection of solid waste is more integrated," Dr. Lowe said.
He explained such a modernised institution would involve the recyclables; material to be sent directly to the Waste-to-Energy Plant; the collection and processing of medical waste; and the Leachate Treatment Plant.
"Government has come up with an integrated solid waste management project that speaks to all areas, and modernisation of the authority falls within that framework," he said.
The Environment Minister added that there were also plans to establish a collection vehicle at the SSA which would be designated to go into communities and to schools where recycle programmes are established to collect such materials.
Dr. Lowe noted the proposal had already been presented to the SSA which was now working on identifying a vehicle from among its fleet to be designed as the green vehicle. He explained that routes would be established along with collection days for recyclable materials such as plastics, cards and glass.
"This is part of the transformation of our society to a green economy," he said.
However, as Government moves ahead with its restructuring exercise, Dr. Lowe has given the assurance that the intention was to ensure that it did not lead to any major dislocation of existing staff.
"We do acknowledge that there are people who have been with the authority for many years, and who would have developed a certain knowledge base that would be useful if they continued working under the new arrangement," the Minister noted.
He added that all those in existing positions would be given the opportunity to compete for new positions under the new structure of the SSA.
Dr. Lowe said what was now required to manage the operations of the SSA was a whole new technological template that provided a roadmap for the Authority to do business with a greater level of efficiency, productivity, and with a greater reliance on leading edge technologies.