Public Works Minister Addresses Trash Removal

January 19, 2015

Recently appointed Minister of Public Works Craig Cannonier today [Jan 19] met with members of the Waste Management Department regarding the recent trash build-up.

Minister Cannonier said, “We wish to apologize to all residents for the accumulation of trash throughout last week. This weekend staff from the Ministry of Public Works removed all the remaining trash and we are back on normal schedule.

Tweet posted by MP David Burt showing the trash build up in his constituency: 


“I received a number of emails this weekend from residents who were understandably frustrated. The Ministry is very aware that trash build-up is a health and safety issue that must be mitigated quickly,” added Minister Cannonier.

“This morning I met with the waste management team and I expect to have a firm plan in place to further alleviate ongoing issues.”

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Comments (64)

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  1. Mockingjay says:

    First stint on the job and cant get it right already.

    • Bernudian says:

      Mockingjay… he wasn’t even on the job when this began. Get your facts straight!! His first day on the job, and it was resolved!!

    • Justin says:

      I reckon a private company should do it instead. Ironically, my recyclables are always picked up the same day they say it is going to get picked up. Just sayin’…

      • Realist says:

        Well you idiot justin look at how much recyclables get picked up compared to actual trash if you was smart maybe you would have figured that out. I thing W&E do a good job and if you actually look at the collection rate since these new trucks came you would see that they are smaller hence the late and overtime pickups. If the higher heads do their job right and stop being what they call conservative and get bigger trucks that can hold tonnage then maybe things would get done on your schedule. Like a private comp can do the work lol. They would need about 5 years to map out decent routes to pick it up properly and neatly in the manner that impresses you. Speak into a bag and let Gov pick it up
        lol and that goes for all you office and soft workers that are even too scornful to tie your own trash bags. Deuces.

        • Justin says:

          You sound like a career gov’t employee, so I understand that you may be a bit jaded. I can recall my trash not being picked up one day because it was ‘raining’! That would never happen in the private sector, my friend. I personally have done lots of manual labor in the rain, although I had an option not to. If I opted not to work in the rain then I quite simply wouldn’t be paid that day, but I would suspect our gov’t workers still got paid that day they couldn’t pick up my trash because it was ‘raining’. Just sayin’…

          • Mockingjay says:

            Maybe because they didn’t have quality rain suites and if you think they are not doing a suitable job then try their job and see if you can do better.

    • Charlly X says:

      Shouldn’t these questions go to the permanent Secretary ? And I don’t trust the newest minister !! Talk about a previous record !! I Really wonder what the Ubp faithful bloggers would have to say if he wore a Green jacket !!!!!??? Come on let’s hear your summations!!

      • clearasmud says:

        You are absolutely correct that the questions should be addressed to the PS. NO Minister is meant to be getting involved with the day to day running of ANY Ministry. This has been reiterated by Minister Crockwell and I think he does a good job of not interferring where he is not suspose to.

  2. stunned... says:

    i shook my head with utter disbelief as I thought I heard the trash truck in my neighborhood close to 11pm one night last week, is that the new way to ensure overtime: don’t collect and then hustle just before a public event??? who doesnt see thru this madness?

  3. Resident says:

    This problem has been going on in my neighbourhood (Boaz Island) for the past 7 weeks…long before this guy became the minister. So what is the reason for the west end garbage not being collected on Monday for the past 7 weeks Mr. Minister??????

  4. Hmmm says:

    Soooo tomorrow is trash day again do we dare put our trash out for collection? Please say something so we know not being told anything is the WORST!!

  5. Starting Point says:

    Did Mr. Burt send his concerns to the designated union for trash workers? or is Mr. Burt putting forth an argument for a privatized trash system, if so, great work PLP.

    • Impressive says:

      An opposition MP questioning a government minister on some of the issues within their ministry is seen as putting forth an argument for Privatization?? I guess people can twist anything to fit their agenda.. Like an elastic band, some peoples minds can really stretch.. mercy

  6. Just go back to collecting trash once a week for east/west end of the island and call it a day.

  7. Cow Polly says:

    Minister, if the problem is resources then go to one day a week until you can get it resolved. I would rather know that my trash is going to be picked up once a week than to keep putting it out in the hope of pick up leaving it for the neighbourhood chickens, cats, dogs etc to pick it over and then the garbage truck leaves it anyway because its not secured!!!!!!

  8. Bush doctor says:

    Just my thoughts on this trash issue,I believe w&e have hired people over the years who are caught up in all this madness that’s going on so therefore those ones can’t travel into sorten areas and to top it off they purchased these small trash trucks so once they bucket goes over its capacity,it does cause problems to hydraulic systems and etc witch that puts trucks out of working order? And if mr.burt comes up with the idea to agree on bring a private trash collecters that private sactor can’t be hiring ppl who can’t go in sorten areas…and I believe they only have 8 or 9 working small trash trucks witch is a big issue so why haven’t w&e enrolled an apprenticeship program for engineers/dealing with fixing these trash trucks

  9. Opinions are like...... says:

    Just to clarify… as a resident of one of the “forgotten about” areas…. this is not an OBA issue. So please Mr. Burt do not use this as a soapbox. This issue has been going on for years!!! Sadly no one has had the sense to say… ” Ok, so we didnt get to X today, first place we get next is X….” NOOOO I am sure it is typical of people holding long time positions in Govt. We go here first no variations… it HAS to be done this way PERIOD!!! Hence the same areas are left with their trash repeatedly…. for YEARS. So please do not make out like this is the first time this has ever happened and that the island was spotless under the PLP.

    • watching says:

      this was never such an habitual and consistent issue until lately.

  10. JONO says:

    Stovell Bay Road, Spanish Point hasn’t yet been colledted

  11. Triangle Drifter says:

    Privatise, privatise, privatise. Never seen anywhere else where itty bitty trash trucks have a 3 man crew. 2 maximum. Driver & loader. The driver actually gets out of his seat when the volume of trash bags warrants it.

    Off to a good start Minister. Beware, they will trip you up at every opportunity.

    • Impressive says:

      I disagree, I am not an expert on this issue to be honest, but I think the 3 men crew is adequate.. You can’t expect the driver to get out of the truck every so many yards to load up the back and then jump back in the truck.. I am not saying it is impossible, but I think you are understating the task.. Respect all professions Mr. Drifter.. If you like the privatise route than thats fine, but don’t find silly ways to support your viewpoint,, just saying.. Go to any construction site in Bermuda and see if the truck drivers are putting cement bags on their truck by themselves.. (if at all)

  12. just wondering says:

    What is intensely annoying is that if this was a private contract you could sue for breach of contract – but because its a Government function you have no recourse!!! WHY does the public sector have to be run so badly!!!

  13. gorgam says:

    It would have helped if the then Bda Govt (when it was under the PLP) had not bought those silly small trash trucks. Then Minister Weekes was shown proudly standing on the back of one of the new (tiny) trucks. It made no sense at all but was touted as a wonderful idea. When it comes to trash trucks – bigger is better for a host of reasons.

    • Creamy says:

      They may be silly little trucks but they had cool wheels and 1,000 sound systems.

    • Time Shall Tell says:

      Yet the trash build up was never as much of an issue as it has been as of late under the current government even with these very same smaller trash trucks you complain about. The volume difference between the old vs the new trucks is less than 30% yet far more than over 50% of trash is frequently left uncollected. I remember a time not too long ago that if your trash wasn’t outside your house by 7am there was a great chance of you missing the trash truck that week. As it stands now I have seen the trash truck not make it’s rounds until after I come home from work thus leaving plenty of time for the feral chicken, neighbors cats & dogs to have a nice rummage through my trash first.

      • Time Shall Tell says:

        Also it must be noted that with the old trucks the trash pick up was once a week, now it’s twice a week with the smaller trucks. So the smaller truck excuse doesn’t hold up once you look at all the numbers. Late last year there was trash backup of a number of missed trash pickups back to back & yet it was these very same smaller trucks that cleared the backlog in ONE day. So if they could clear that massive backlog in one day then there is no excuse as to why it can’t keep up with the regular twice a week pick up.

  14. Everett gibson says:

    The former minister was told about the problem with illegal dumping at Jews bay public wharf but I am sure that has been forgotten.we have seen rats as big as cats coming from the dumpster over there.i have small grandchildren who play in the land at the back of my house and God forbid if one of them happen to get is time that the area was cleaned up and the dumpster taken away.if something is not done soon I will have the press come and take pictures.sometimes the only way you can get any action is to go to the court of public. Opinion

    • Truth is killin' me... says:

      While you’re at it…it seems to be a Friday Night gathering place for weed smokers and drinkers on the weekend especially by the dock!

  15. Rock Watcher says:

    As has been said they are on a ‘go slow’ on normal days so that they have to work overtime to compensate for the furlough day!! I reckon the whole furlough day thing has cost Govt more money than it saved!
    Even the Prison Officers have been taking sick days in rotation so that they have to be called in, on overtime, to make up the minimum watch strength!!

  16. Fowl says:

    Simple idea 101. Every residential dwelling that has a BELCO meter should be charged $50 per annum to have their trash collected. I think BELCO has about 30,000-35,000 customers. At $50 per year they would generate $1.5mil, that would cover the cost of paying workers OT and mechanical issues for most of the trucks. If you can’t afford $50 a year to get your trash collected then I suggest you move back in with your mother.

  17. joe says:

    Hey lazy people of Bermuda.. Here’s a thought.. If the trash truck doesn’t come within a few days why not put your trash in the back of your car and drive it to the dump?

    If we all did that once in a while maybe they could keep up with our mass consumption lifestyle. It should be illegal to put bags on the street. Bags should have to go in bins. Cant fit it in a bin? Take it to the dump yourself.

    • gorgam says:

      Hey Joe.. when we (tax payers) are PAYING for a service – twice a week trash pick up, why the heck should people have to put bags of trash that have been picked at by birds and rats in the back of their cars?????

      • joe says:

        dont let it get to that. put it in a bin. who the hell are we to just throw our bags of trash on the street? What major city in the world allows this? You get fined in Canada if your trash is not organized properly. At what point did just dumping your crap on the side of the road become acceptable. lets start with the real problem. there is too much trash.

        • joe says:

          the way to resolve this is not more trash trucks and more workers. Its to create less trash. elementary watson..

        • joe says:

          just because we are paying for a service doesn’t mean we have a license to be completely callous and unscrupulous with our ever growing trash.

        • gorgam says:

          Well go to Canada then….

        • Mockingjay says:

          Obviously joe, you haven’t been in Bermuda that long, trash in bags have been a common practice here as long there have been trash trucks.
          If that’s what your used to in Canada and it bothers you that much, well Air Canada is having seat sales, otherwise when in Rome ………………….

          • ole Onion says:

            Trash has always been a problem !!! Verbally ,physically and materially ! ,! If we’d stop trash talking name calling and being asinine !! Stick to the topic and create some solutions !!
            And who do u people who hide behind the pen names think you can be so vile as to tell someone leave Bda over a trashy situation as this ???
            As I’ve asked others ” Are you Smarter than a Fifth grader ” ??
            Well prooooove us wrong !!!

    • Impressive says:

      Might be hard to do for some people as not everyone has a car.. just saying.. Those large pink and blue vehicles on the roads still have a great deal of passengers these days, and I don’t think the Taxi drivers around Bermuda would like to be putting trash in their vehicles..

      • PBanks says:

        Since joe’s not one of the ‘lazy people of Bermuda’ maybe he’ll volunteer use of his own car to transport the trash of the people without their own car.

        Thanks joe.

  18. Dread says:

    Those PLP appointed supervisors in W&E will undermine any good work.

  19. Malachi says:

    Well it is trash day here in the West, and the trash that I put out this morning is still here! (5:10PM)

  20. Jus' Askin' says:

    The people of Bermuda need to aim for a trash-free life. Recycling needs to be updated. ;-)

  21. Keepin' it Real!...4Real! says:

    burt used cannonaires name but he was really talking to his plp brothers n sisters that actually perform the duty…my question is if the trash is not being picked up , then what are these employees doing, were they informed by their superiors not to pick it up or..? if so then tell us and we will get rid of them, but if not…then whats the problem..?

    if we privatize…then say bye bye to the plp employee.

  22. family says:

    Alright Craig!! First day in job and you are not evasive!!!! Number 1 Problem is the lemon trucks brought in don’t have the sufficient parts needed readily available which in turn causes Problem Number 2 that overtime PAY is required. Don’t blame the guys for requesting overtime pay for overtime services……it is a very physical job…

  23. islandguy says:

    As i have said in all my previous post im not a party supporter!The problem starts at management!
    And also what amazes me is christmas eve and new years eve those trucks are jamming and all trash picked so they can knock off half day.Just saying

  24. bermy says:

    i second what family posted and thats the real!!!!

  25. chipp says:

    Trash don’t talk u just throw it away!

  26. Triangle Drifter says:

    We are so lazy & spoiled. In so many places you have to sort your trash 3 or 4 different ways. If you don’t, it will not get picked up.

    Furthermore there is no twice a week pick up. Once a week for each class of trash.

    I guess we really do live in another world.

  27. People pay taxes…this pays wages and vehicles….my only question……”only”….question is…..why isn’t it removed!?!

  28. All this other scatteraction is rhetorical dribble…

  29. Charlly X says:

    There’s more verbal trash than enough in this comment section ! People telling someone to leave Bermuda because they’ve put forth a solution ! Smdh !!!! They should be grumbling about the integrity of the minister in charge as he was impeached oops stepped down from the most important position of government !!!

  30. ann says:

    I am Bermudian and find it disgusting that Trash Bins are not compulsory, throwing bags on the side of the road might have worked 30years ago, but now it just makes a mess. it doesn’t take much to make something better, but let me guess Government has to give you the garbage can or your not using one.

    • PBanks says:

      I don’t think any action to make owning a trash bin mandatory, will get off the ground. Someone’s bound to abuse the system, steal a bin or two, etc. But still worth the discussion, perhaps.

  31. Newly Optomistic Bermudian says:

    The question should be why is not picked up? There has been no holiday to create a back log. The perminant secretary needs to answer why!keep the politics out of it and hold the Govenment employees 100% reponsible for things like this.

  32. JONO says:


  33. David Panchaud says:

    We’d. 21 Jan trash from yesterday still out.(north shore Pembroke). Repeat of last week? Last weeks (Tuesday) trash was picked up on Sunday during the marathon running.