[Update: The Ministry of Public Works said that garbage collection workers will be working overtime over the next few days to clear the garbage backlog. Minister of Public Works Trevor Moniz made the decision to approve the overtime due to the "overwhelming concern from residents."]
“For almost a month, the people of Hamilton Parish and St. George’s have experienced a dramatic decrease in scheduled garbage collection,” Shadow Public Works Minister Derrick Burgess said today [June 24].
“Since June 7th, there has been only one garbage collection within these areas, where four pickups are traditionally scheduled,” continued Mr Burgess.
“This raises health and safety issues for our communities, as well as a tremendous inconvenience to our taxpayers. This situation is baffling and the Minister has, so far, remained silent on why this has occurred or when and how it will be resolved.
“On behalf of my constituents, as well as all residents of Hamilton Parish and St. George’s, I have contacted the Minister responsible, Mr. Trevor Moniz for answers and a speedy solution to this serious problem,” Mr Burgess concluded.
The garbage collection, or lack thereof, has been widely discussed lately, with numerous locals complaining about the situation.
The initial delay was caused by the industrial action at the Government Quarry last week, with a large portion of Works & Engineering staff walking off the job in support of a suspended colleague.
On June 19th, the Ministry said that regular garbage collection resumed, and advised residents to either re-bag their garbage, take it to Tynes Bay, and to use a disinfectant to “mitigate unsanitary conditions until the garbage is collected.”
Update 1.22pm: The Ministry of Public Works said that garbage collection workers will be working overtime over the next few days to clear the garbage backlog.
The Ministry took the opportunity today to thank residents for their continued patience, apologising for the inconvenience caused over the past couple of weeks.
A Ministry spokesperson said today, “In the interest public health and safety, as well as in light of the overwhelming concern from residents who have contacted the Ministry requesting the pile up of garbage in their respective neighbourhods to be removed, the Minister of Public Works, the Hon. Trevor Moniz, has made the decision to approve the overtime.
“Ministry crews will be working in both the West and East Ends of the Island to remove garbage as quickly as possible following the conclusion of the recent industrial action at the Government Quarry.
“While collection staff resumed regular garbage collections last week, they were unable to keep up with the volume that was backlogged as a result of the sympathy work stoppage – which was coupled with the Public Holiday falling around the same time.”