Video: Minister Burch On Waste Management

February 12, 2018 | 35 Comments

[Updated] Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch is holding a press briefing this afternoon [Feb 12] to discuss waste management matters. We will have additional coverage later on, and in the meantime the live video of Minister Burch’s press conference is below.

Update 3.16pm: We will update with the Minister’s full remarks as able, however as a summary, Minister Burch said this Wednesday [Feb 14] there will be an “island wide blitz” with every truck in the Ministry, with assistance from the hustle truck, covering the “entire island” to pick up garbage.

Interviews are being conducted to hire additional staff, there are plans to purchase five new trucks, and the Ministry plan to reverts to once a week trash collection for a ten week period [from Feb 19 - April 27] while they conduct a full assessment and do repairs.

The 16-minute live video replay is below

Update 4.40pm: The Minister said, “The Work to Rule was lifted last week so staff are back working overtime to try and keep up with garbage collection. The net result of that is still an unsatisfactory state of affairs as we are unable to fully complete designated collection in any one day.”

“The island is divided into 24 zones – 12 in the west and 12 in the East. It will come as no surprise to anyone that with an average of 7 trucks in service to complete 12 zones – that is mission impossible.”

In addressing the actions the Ministry plans to take to alleviate the current problem, Minister Burch said, “Interviews are being conducted today for the 5 additional staff being recruited in this first batch of new hires .

“A team inclusive of a driver and worker will travel overseas by month end to select the next batch of garbage trucks – we will purchase 5 of them. To be clear though there is a lengthy lead time involved – so it will likely be November before they arrive on island.

“Following consultation with the BIU and the staff of waste management – this Wednesday February 14th we will have an Island wide blitz – with every truck in the Ministry, with assistance from the Hustle Truck workers, covering the entire Island to clear all the garbage from every neighbourhood.

“Additionally, effective next Monday February 19th we will revert to once a week garbage collection for a 10 week period to April 27th.

“This time will allow us to conduct a full assessment of the trucks that are serviceable, conduct extensive repairs, complete the TCD relicensing process and return a larger number into the operational fleet Regular monitoring will occur during this period and the necessary adjustments will be made.”

 Minister Burch’s remarks:

Good afternoon, I am pleased to provide an update on garbage collection and some additional actions we will take to address the ongoing challenges.

Before doing that though – let me just pay tribute and offer thanks to the workers of the Waste Management section – who I have had the privilege of spending time with over the past few weeks. These are dedicated and committed workers who take pride in their work under some very trying circumstances. They do a good job and I will not tolerate any abuse directed at them.

Work to Rule Lifted

Now to recap – the Work to Rule was lifted last week so staff are back working overtime to try and keep up with garbage collection. The net result of that is still an unsatisfactory state of affairs as we are unable to fully complete designated collection in any one day.

The island is divided into 24 zones – 12 in the west and 12 in the East. It will come as no surprise to anyone that with an average of 7 trucks in service to complete 12 zones – that is mission impossible. The actual process has seen garbage partially collected in the west on Mondays to be followed by completion on Tuesday mornings before those same workers can begin the eastern zone collections. A similar situation occurs on Thursdays and Fridays in the east.

Clearly this plan is unsustainable as it does not allow proper time for regular truck maintenance let alone any repairs.

Contributing Factors

There are a number of contributing factors that we can do to make things better:

  • Cut back trees along private estate roads – as this causes damage to our vehicles -smashed windscreens and mirrors.
  • Do not place garbage out before collection day.
  • Do not place too much garbage in a bag that one man cannot carry it.
  • Do not place dangerous or prohibited items in garbage.
  • Do not place garbage in paper bags.
  • Do not put out recyclables on non-collection days.

The law is clear – garbage cannot be put out earlier than 7:30 pm the night before & no later than 7:30am on collection days. So if you arrive after 7:30am and all your neighbours’ garbage has already been collected – then you must take it back home and secure it until the next collection day or deliver it yourself to the Tynes Ray Public Drop Off.

I have attached two photos I took on Sunday on my way to work – no one should be putting out their trash on a Saturday or Sunday – well before any scheduled collection. At this stage I am asking members of the public to help us help them by being considerate of their neighbours and our workers – if that does not work – then we shall resort to enforcement and prosecution of those who refuse to follow the law.

Now – what other actions are we going to take to alleviate the current problem?

Interviews are being conducted today for the 5 additional staff being recruited in this first batch of new hires .

Buying Five New Trucks

A team inclusive of a driver and worker will travel overseas by month end to select the next batch of garbage trucks – we will purchase 5 of them. To be clear though there is a lengthy lead time involved – so it will likely be November before they arrive on island.

Island Wide Blitz On Wednesday

Following consultation with the BIU and the staff of waste management – this Wednesday February 14th we will have an Island wide blitz – with every truck in the Ministry, with assistance from the Hustle Truck workers, covering the entire Island to clear all the garbage from every neighbourhood.

Once A Week Collection For 10 Weeks

Additionally, effective next Monday February 19th we will revert to once a week garbage collection for a 10 week period to April 27th. This time will allow us to conduct a full assessment of the trucks that are serviceable, conduct extensive repairs, complete the TCD relicensing process and return a larger number into the operational fleet Regular monitoring will occur during this period and the necessary adjustments will be made.

The aim here is to rid the country of garbage, manage the expectations of the public by not falsely promising twice weekly collection when that is virtually impossible to accomplish at this time. A full media blitz to alert the public of these new procedures will occur so that everyone is aware of the steps being taken to address the problem.

We will continue the deliberations with our union partners to devise new ways to combat the problem. We believe this is a sensible approach and as is my custom I shall keep the public informed of any adjustments to this plan.

Thank you.

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Comments (35)

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  1. dick says:

    What!!!! So I live in the east – but my comments don’t count on ATVs? People have never seen or heard or used ATVs … right. He takes offence at people asking him to take their objections into account? If you live east of white hill you don’t get a say in this ….? WTF!

    Really is this Government policy? I am astounded.

    He needs go.

    • Double S says:

      Did you actually believe the PLP when they said they care about the voters. They care about your votes and after you give it to them, they revert back to normal business.

      • wahoo juice says:

        boat race!
        Pepper spray!
        Jet gate!
        24-12!
        So stop ya noise!

        • Sara says:

          1.5 billion in debt during a time Bermuda was bringing in almost 2 billion in revenue. Poor math skills and horrible foresight. Good luck with that buddy. Most of us have other options outside Bermuda hopefully the PLP vote base does too.

      • Ringmaster says:

        Lt Col Burch is on record saying “we don’t care what you think”. Well since garbage used to be twice weekly, but you never knew when the truck would come round, no wonder people put out the garbage anytime. Sometime during a 7 day period at least one collection could be expected, just the day was unknown. PLP, working for the people, but which ones?

  2. somuchless says:

    Simple. Go back to once a week pick up. Stop spending the people’s money.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      If we go back to once a week trash collection and no trucks are retired and no staff are cut and our taxes stay the same (actually increase) where is the saving ?

      • somuchless says:

        Garbage collection would be done on time if once a week – save.

        You won’t have to hire additional workers – save.

        You could possibly do it with the same amount of trucks (if it not only one or two would be needed) – save.

        Who wins? The people cause the gov wouldn’t have to spend as much.

        • Justin says:

          In my simple mind it presently takes the workers 1 day to collect garbage in the east end and 1 day to collect in the west end two times a week. So presently that is 4 days of work a week for the present crew. So if garbage only gets collected 2 times a week, then what are those workers going to do for the remaining 3 days of the working week?

        • The real Terry says:

          somuchless I bet you believe in the tooth fairy and Santa as well There wasn’t even a “kernel” of truth in the ministers boasting and bragging about bring a “bureaucracy buster” can’t even collect garbage efficiently.

        • Toodle-oo says:

          You must be simple .

          Remember when the UBP cut trash collections to once a week ?
          No-one made redundant , no trucks sold and still the collections were late. NO savings whatsoever !

  3. harold says:

    I cannot believe what he is saying about ATV consultation …. it beggar’s belief. Is this how Government treats its citizens?

  4. Warlord2 says:

    What a tool

  5. Rada Gast says:

    The government had better be touring the island and issuing penalties, because you know that folks are still going to put their trash out twice a week during that ten week period.

    • Toodle-oo says:

      Although I completely agree with you nothing will change.
      At the west end I regularly see huge numbers of people who put their trash out on a Saturday (SMFH) when the following Monday is a public holiday and there’s no trash collection until Wednesday ! And this has been going on for years and years .

      I doubt there’s be enough tickets in that ticket book .

  6. Peter says:

    Wooohooo the Valentine’s Day trash blitz lol

  7. Izzypop says:

    Maybe this Govt should make it mandatory that residents recycle like the do in other parts of the world
    Go
    Look at the trash at tynes bay on a daily basis. We can do better

  8. Kevin says:

    So did 5 or more trucks go out of service in the last 3 months …. don’t hide information if that’s the case but bet that is not the case
    Performance Manage Mr Burch its quite simple but no wait can’t get Brother Furbert upset
    Sad day when we hit cross roads like this
    The PLP have never been able to Manage there isn’t one amongst them who is successful so you get what you vote for
    I didn’t vote them in

  9. island boy says:

    24 zones – collect 8 zones a day and use the other two days for maintenance or pick up for any areas that may have been missed due to poor weather.

    why do we need twice a week trash pick up? In the last 10 years, I can use the fingers on one hand to count the number of times they have actually managed to pick up trash on the two scheduled days for my area.

    Do any other jurisdictions have twice a week residential trash pick up? IMO, twice a week trash pick up does not encourage people to reduce the amount of trash that they go through.

  10. Zevon says:

    So on Wednesday they’re having a special day when they will actually pick up trash?

  11. Questions says:

    1. If they are only collecting (WORKING)two days a week,WHAT ARE
    THEY DOING THE OTHER THREE DAYS?
    2. How will pay be adjusted as THEY are not working on those days?
    Drivers get paid to drive not sit.
    3. Which days are not collection days?
    4. Why is BIU not speaking on the first two questions? Is it because
    their workers will get paid full pay anyway

  12. Questions says:

    When will they mention the high number of sickouts at one time, hence overtime.

  13. Family Man says:

    The PLP has so many old UBP members now, it was only a matter of time before they started to implement the UBP policies.

  14. wondering says:

    whoever the civil servants are in charge of waste management are obviously unfit to speak with the public on these matters that the minister himself is the one man band running this rag tag show! where is the PS for trash collection and the superintendent of works????????????????????? soiunds like 200 thousand dollars in salary could be spent on trucks. you could buy new ones each year and fre the lot of them

  15. Divide says:

    Divide the zones up from two to five. Therefore no need for five new trucks but maybe two. Let’s be smart innovative and find a new way of doing things and not the same old same old.

  16. somuchless says:

    Stop spending stop wasting

  17. Oh really says:

    Where is the money coming from? I know get a loan on top of the billions were already owe. He must think banks will just keep on lending to us without a plan to pay it back. Typical for them or maybe they believe we can print money. The whole lot of them need a lesson in economics clearly they are a lost cause.

    • Earth watch police says:

      So Burch can’t get the trash picked up but he wants to prosecute us for putting the trash out at the wrong times but we never know when the trash trucks are coming 24 12 baby we in for a long ride.

  18. Peter says:

    Is this the new dumbestic trash bill?

  19. Comfortably numb says:

    Nice little trip for the worker and driver along with, no doubt,a large group of waste management staff. May as well take his ATV mate along as well.

  20. facts of the rock says:

    PATHETIC!…as always.

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