Minister Updates On Trash Collection Meetings

February 1, 2018

Minister of Public Works Lt/Col. David Burch advised that his meeting yesterday with the BIU leadership and the Executive of the Public Works Division went “extremely well”.

“The Minister reported progress on the three areas of concern: staffing, vehicles and spare parts. The new protocols going forward will include regular meetings between Quarry & Marsh Folly staffs,” a Government spokesperson said.

“It should be noted, that the Executive agreed to present the solutions to a meeting of workers tomorrow [Feb. 2] morning and they expressed confidence that the matter could be resolved. A further update will be issued on Friday. Minister Burch will attend tomorrow’s meeting.

“It should also be noted that as of immediate effect, tipping fees for truckers have been waived for trucks who are dropping off waste off at Tynes Bay.”

This follows after delays with garbage collection recently, and the Minister held a press conference yesterday to address the matter, saying the “main reason for the non- collection of waste over the past few days is due to an unusually high shortage of staff. Last Friday we had 40% of staff unavailable due to vacation, short & long term illness and injuries.”

He also said that a “meeting was held with the BIU and staff on Friday which lasted most of the day [therefore no trash was collected] to discuss various issues and challenges within the collection section which included the availability of vehicles, repairs, sickness, staff shortages and the proliferation of injuries.”

“At the conclusion of that meeting the staff agreed to work to rule this week – which means they return to the depot for lunch and are not working overtime. As a result of this action significant delays and major disruption to scheduled collections this week has occurred,” Minister Burch said yesterday.

The 25-minute video of the Minister’s press conference held yesterday

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Comments (32)

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  1. smitty says:

    Why is Burch running these meetings?? Its not is job and Government policy clearly dictates that MP’s must NOT interfere in the running of their assigned departments..It’s that why there is Perm.Secretaries and Managers? This hands on micro-management is what all citizens need to worry about.

    • He’s running these meetings because its his ministry, and letting people know that he’s made a decision and those who are paid to carry out these duties dropped de ball.
      Its good to hear politicians speak honest and to the point, I guarantee you will not hear of him giving someone permission to take a load of stone and rubble for personal use.

      • Ringmaster says:

        He is running the meetings because the management at W&E are clearly unable to manage the situation and should be fired. Use the money to buy new trucks. Of course none of this will happen and the fiasco will continue. Lots of noise, lots of “I’ve fixed it” and back to normal.

      • HMMM says:

        My how things change Onion Juice. A year ago you would’ve been saying that the OBA cant do their job, the minister needs to resign for interfering and so on. Now you are defending. A Labour government that cant deal with Labour related issues effectively. Dismal Failure.

        All I know is that in my 50 plus years I have NEVER EVER gone two weeks without getting trash collected! Pathetic.

        • mixitup says:

          Are you serious about life? These issues were festering under your useless OBA Gov’t, do you really believe that in 6 months a crisis just popped up with Garbage Collection? If you do then you are as Disingenuous as the person you are accusing (Onion Juice)

          • Zevon says:

            Burch blames the inefficient incompetent civil servants who failed to do their job.
            That’s Burch.

          • nerema says:

            My trash hasn’t been picked up 3 weeks. Funny how that never happened under the last government. The PLP have screwed it up, got into this mess, and then kept it all a big secret. No updates this week, and no trash being collected. No progress, and no communication.
            If this had happened under the OBA you would have marching with pitchforks.

  2. whip lash says:

    Wonder what the thoughts would be if it was OBA still in power and a manager FORGOT to hire people.

  3. Micro says:

    So after not working all morning, they go for lunch then knock off.

    • Micro says:

      Further, private unionised workers generally hold their meetings outside normal working hours (at least, that’s how my company does them) and are paid for the duration on the meeting just the same. Do not understand why government staff can’t do the same.

  4. Oscar de Grouch says:

    We all have to can our trash talk, because if we refuse to address this situation we will all be down in the dumps.

  5. BDAGIRL says:

    That was then and this is now, I give Minister Burch full marks for looking into and speaking about the delays in the garbage being collected. If he didn’t stand up and sort matters out people would say he is just sitting in his office collecting a paycheck. You go Minister Burch pass a leaf out of your book onto a few other politicians. Always admired his determination to get a job done.

    • Hey says:

      My trash is still out there!

    • HMMM says:

      He might talk tough and I actually agree with most of what he has said. However, the truth is that he will do nothing. He can’t and we all know he wouldn’t dare, and he knows it! The unions haven’t even made a statement so surely they are not overly concerned. Where is the Peoples Campaign? I’m just wondering what time the march starts? Surely there must be a march being organized. Yes ? No?

      Maybe we should all take our garbage and dump it on the hill in protest!

  6. Warwick West says:

    perhaps if the Col. is having to “micro-manage” it is because the Permanent Secretary, and/or the Director and/or the Manager(s) are not doing their jobs; so he doing it for them. If that is the case, then it is not so much Ministerial interference but more a issue of necessity on the back of possible poor performance by the the Civil Service – no surprises there!

    I am not a fan of the Col. but I do feel confident that he will get the job done where paid employees have failed and there is a justified reason for him to be in the trenches.

    For other Ministers responsible for things such as for gaming, BTA? not so much. For the Col. yes, most likely necessary.

  7. Triangle Drifter says:

    So far all the Lt Col. has done is talk. Talk is something the PLP is very good at doing. Will the managers, the director, the PS or any other civil servants be held accountable for not doing their jobs? A certain Bermuda body of water will freeze over first, but the talk from Burch sounds good.

    He blames the problems on “legacy” issues. Newly learned code word for OBA. All their fault. Not so. The OBA did not purchase the undersized trash trucks. The OBA did not create the debt that costs as much as 2 new busses a day to service. How many trash trucks, busses, a whole bunch of other things could we have if we did not have to pay $4.2M a week to service a PLP debt that did not even exist before 2007.

    Maybe the PLP were as surprised as the OBA last July. They did not think the problems they created would land back in their laps so soon. The wisdom of the voters has really shown itself & the steaming pile of guano, trash trucks included, has been thrown right back at the PLP. The solution? Meetings. Lots & lots of meetings.

  8. Albie says:

    If the minister wants to micro manage maybe he should direct his attention to the newly repaved Corkscrew Hill project. The brand new road surface is so new that the road markings have yet to be applied. But, more importantly the road surface is already well chewed up and at least two cyclists have come off their bikes in the last week or so. Exactly how difficult is it to resurface 200 meters of road in Bermuda?

    Attention should also be paid to the failing stone wall above the roadway at the junction with East Broadway.

    • HMMM says:

      Take a look at most of North Shore. It hard to find a 100′ stretetch between Shelly Bay and Point what doesn’t have a wall, railing, sign or safety barrier that hasn’t been smashed by a vehicle. I’m still not sure why the person (or their insurance company) isn’t forced to repair damaged or destroyed public property.

    • JAYBIRD says:

      Are you joking?? In just about every part of the Island there are examples of neglected roads or poorly resurfaced roads or roads where W&E haven’t bothered to replace the center lines for years.
      Examples include Brighton Hill and the stretch of Middle Road Devonshire between the junction with Verdmont Road and Store Hill – looks like a kindergarden class resurfaced and repainted it!

  9. Nicky says:

    It would be good to know how many people are injured or sick? If there are not enough trucks then there is no sense hiring more people. Use a private truck company to do the work for now and tender each parish to Bermuda truckers therefore truckers in Bermuda can benefit and be hired.

  10. Dready says:

    What a load of trash! People are getting what they voted for.

  11. who cares most says:

    Firztly there is a problem that Col. Burch needs to get into.
    The people that are buying the trash trucks are not technically the right people.
    How does a person with no Technical ability and no Engineering ability go and buy these vehicles?
    The Engineers that are in that section are permitting people with no degrees to scope and purchase these vehicles and when they arrive here there is still modifications that should have been factory done.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Trash trucks should be sourced from the same area that busses should be sourced from. Asia, from a country that drives on the left like we do & has companies that builds city busses & trash trucks to suit their own narrow roads. Buy stock vehicles. No modifications needed.

  12. Coconuts says:

    Why has it not been possible to collect the trash AT ALL? You mean to tell me that is hasn’t been possible to do ONE SINGLE COLLECTIONAgain, Government workers holding the public hostage. Doesn’t matter which government is in power, W&E and BIU do what they want (or don’t want) to do. Sadly this lot appears to have the real power which is SCARY.

  13. Hey says:

    Ah yes here we go Burch is back. Let the circus begin.

  14. Yes…well let me say this about that…
    It’s a load of garbage.

  15. Helo says:

    “Work to rule”…..what does that mean? They work their normal work hours with a lunch break, right? Well we travel the Island every day, and in the last two weeks have not seen a trash truck anywhere on the road. This is pathetic, the PLP know it, and don’t know what to do about it. Next we’ll have an Island wide strike. Then what?

  16. Stevie says:

    Snap election needed. Before PLP makes BDA
    broke again.

  17. Dready says:

    Burch talks trash!