Minister: Once A Week Collection Is Permanent

February 1, 2019

[Updated] Minister of Public Works Lt/Col David Burch is holding a press briefing this afternoon [Feb 1] to provide an update on waste management. We will have additional coverage later on and in the meantime the live video is below.

Update: We will have the full statement later, however in the meantime as a very brief summary, the Minister said that “once a week collection will become a permanent feature of the Bermuda landscape.”

Update: The live broadcast has concluded and the 28-minute replay is below

Update 4.23pm: Minister Burch said, “Good afternoon. It was a year ago yesterday, January 31st, 2018 that I first reported publicly on the challenges we were facing with garbage collection and announced the implementation of once a week collection.

“To briefly recap the situation – we had issues with the number of vehicles in service, the abuse workers were being subjected to, the unreliability of pick up, exorbitant overtime, injuries to staff and general dissatisfaction with service levels.

“As an example a section that should have 54 staff and 19 serviceable vehicles – had 40 staff and 9 working vehicles on average.

“There was also a significant gap in the communication chain both internally as well as efficiently communicating with the public. We have implemented new protocols to mitigate against this happening again.

“We worked through all those issues with our staff along with our Union partners and I believe we have open lines of communication that flow both ways that has contributed to a better working environment and improved morale.

“A lot has happened in a year – locals and residents alike have in the main adapted magnificently to the once a week collection and the common refrain I have heard is that most people are pleased with the reliability of collection.

“The opening hours of the public drop off were extended to make use of the facility more convenient and the results are a significant increase in its use [ a graph comparing 2017 to 2018 volumes is below].

Waste Management Bermuda February 2019

“Overtime has been cut by more than half from $1.2M to $320,000. The number of injuries are down significantly, the number of vehicle accidents are also down and the work / life balance of staff has improved since they no longer work into the evening hours.

“You may recall that a year ago we sent a team inclusive of a driver and worker overseas to select the next batch of garbage trucks – I am pleased to report that the new trucks arrived on island last month.

“They cleared customs and were released on the 11th January following which they were cleaned, inspected, modified, decals added and paperwork submitted to TCD. They were taken to TCD on 21st January and all are currently licenced for road use.

“Four of the trucks suffered minor damage during offloading by and the replacement parts are in transit from the UK, one truck has a minor electrical problem which will be addressed by the supplier Farid when they arrive on 10 February to commission all the vehicles.

“Chassis underseal, fitting of radios, GPS systems along with driver training is currently under way.

“Realistically we anticipate them being placed into service the week of February 18th – assuming all goes well with the manufactures representative.

“Concurrently, we will be installing a new Wash Station at Marsh Folly to ensure the new trucks can be maintained in pristine condition.

Bermuda Garbage Truck February 2019

“You will know that I met last week with the senior management team in public works to review the data and discuss the way forward.

“I can now report that after reviewing that data and receiving input from staff I have decided that once a week collection will become a permanent feature of the Bermuda landscape.

“The aim always is to rid the country of garbage, manage the expectations of the public by not falsely promising what we cannot deliver.

“Let me now set out what additional measures we will take to assist the Bermudian public. A consistent complaint during this period has been from those areas that utilize the very large gray bins in communal disposal areas as we have experienced a severe shortage of the bin lift trucks.

“We have utilized private sector contractors and Corporation of Hamilton trucks to assist us on weekends to address this deficiency. The 5 new trucks all have that capability and it is our expectation we will now be able to collect that waste on the day it is scheduled without the need to utilize outside contractors.

“All of us can help in that regard, however, by reducing the incredible amount of waste we generate, recycling and composting food waste. We are experiencing an increase in maggots in the waste – this is mainly due to a combination of food waste and the climate which are the perfect conditions for them to flourish. Some members of the public have suggested lidded trash bins and freezing food waste until the day of collection.

“I know that our Education Officer would wish that I recommend to you that you also consider composting – which is a painless way of helping the environment as well as successfully disposing of food waste without running the risk of attracting feral chickens, cats or vermin to your trash. Of course it is made considerably easier if you purchase a composting bin from any of the local hardware stores or the best type can be purchased from the Ministry of Public Works.

“In this vein as well the Ministry has purchased 300 – 95 gallons wheelie bins – scheduled to arrive on island next week – to be followed shortly thereafter by a similar number of 48 gallon recycling bins. These will be sold at landed cost and initially be targeted at those neighbourhoods that use communal collection points to help address the challenges with vermin and feral chickens attacking trash bags.

“Let me end where | began – by thanking the public for adapting to this new collection schedule and those workers in waste management who do an outstanding job in collecting our waste under the most trying circumstances. | encourage members of the public to give a thought and even express thanks directly to those workers who so efficiently collect our garbage every week.

“There are a number of actions that we – the general public can take 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.

“There has been general acceptance of the once a week schedule with a small minority of people ignoring the rules. We are determined to address this bad behavior by encouraging our workers to take pictures of any infractions, report it to their manager – so that we can take action.

“They are not expected to collect trash that is strewn all over the road because of someone’s bad behavior. They are not expected to drive up a road that does not have a clear path to gain access and either injure themselves or damage the vehicle. We will enforce the rules and address the guilty as appropriate.

“We as a people — all of us – must do better — I’d like to take this opportunity to remind the general public, to be more aware of what they put in their trash and always remember that the collection is carried out by hard working staff who take pride in their work and deserve our thanks and respect. Thank you.”

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Comments (60)

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  1. Joe Bloggs says:

    Once a week garbage collection will now(!) be made permanent. What a surprise?!?!

    • Pork & Bean says:

      If you can’t manage the waste, why does he call it Waste Management?

    • OBA in 5 years = 0 Trash Trucks
      PLP in 1 year = TRASH TRUCKS

      • Question says:

        Any idiot can spend other people’s money.

      • Anbu says:

        Where are the dam buses u muppet?!

        • De money for de buses went on Americas Cup, idiot.

          • What says:

            Simply untrue, America’s Cup made money for Bermuda. How about telling the truth for once. Your PLP lies and propaganda are disgusting. Rat population has expanded considerably on the island. Next will come disease, but you are OK with that, and despite buying 5 new trucks we are still only once a week pick up. I would love to see the financial transparency on who made money from this purchase.

          • 2 Bermudas says:

            You are a dumb dumb. The money used to buy the new trucks came from the profit off the Americas Cup. It definitely didn’t come from the Black Mayor’s Conference or Beyonce!!! Ha ha ha!!

          • Question says:

            So what about the new buses that were delivered in Be4muda January 2018. Why aren’t they on the road yet, idiot?
            It’s because you stupid idiots ordered and bought buses that can’t be used here. Wasting our frikkin money again.
            You lot can’t be trusted with money.

  2. eyes wide open says:

    as usual with him he’s talking Garbage!

  3. sandgrownan says:

    The Minster who doesn’t get things done….

    • LOL says:

      You wish. Try winning the next election before you talk smack or place your hat in the ring if you think you can beat him or any other PLP. Your ubp or oba will have no choice but to change the name after next election or split. The swing voters are not returning……TRUST ME I WAS ONE!!

      • Pork & Bean says:

        Nice try – but nobody believes you were a swing voter! Whats is you point about winning the election. Trump won in the USA! Look at the leaders of Venezuela , Columbia, Korea and many others that won at the polls! It doesn’t mean that the best team won! It means their many years of brainwashing the people and collaboration with the unions, fake people’s campaign marches and churches was successful.

        What has the PLP done for the people? Where are the jobs that were promised ? What happened to the Casino commission? Why are there no Casinos YET!

        Cruise Ship Companies can design, build, decorate, and staff a luxury cruise ship complete with a Casino in under two years! Mr. know it all Simmons got rid of the head and still has not found a suitable replacement. Meanwhile the Gaming Commission has for years paid rent, staff, marketing and for what!? This is the definition of the word incompetent! Stop drinking the purple koolaid my friend and think about your kids future.

        • Bounty Chocolate says:

          I believe that man or woman was a swing voter! How do you think the past Governments won in their election? You should listen to them. The black voters that you need to swing have departed and are not returning to the OBA. They alone swing and decide who wins every election. Whites only vote 1 way, so who’s more racist???

          The OBA is a failed creation of the past UBP gov changing the name did not work. The new OBA is simply a bounty chocolate………., chocolate on the outside but we all know it’s coconut inside!

          A third party will be created. Wait and see!

        • Talk about brainwashed.

      • 2 Bermudas says:

        Pee El Pee!! Pee El Pee!! Nobody cares!! LMAO!!

      • Sandgrownan says:

        How are you enjoying more taxes paying for PLP debt and less services.

        The PLP, doing less with more.

      • Anbu says:

        Swing voters never returned dummy. U always voted plp anyway lol. Wha u think everyone is dumb? Only reason oba won in the first place is because u didnt vote. So stop it. There is no such thing as a “swing” voter in bermuda. Lets be real.

        • LOL says:

          No lets be real dummy 4 REAL. We have a black vote and a white vote.

          25 – 11 is 4 real now change the name again lol

          • sandgrownan says:

            16 of 20 years and a record of failure and incompetence.

          • 2 Bermudas says:

            You’re right, 16/20 years, $2.5bn in debt and people still struggling.

            Pee El Pee!! Pee El Pee!!! Bermuda for Bermudians!! Ha ha ha!!

  4. Sierra says:

    We knew this would be the cash when they initially said “temporarily”. I should have made a bet… Hopefully KBB find more volunteers fast because we all know what comes next. Good job Government. Another excellent idea.

    • Pork & Bean says:

      My favourite comment ” Do not place too much garbage in a bag that one man cannot carry it.”

      Burch,…..If the bag is at the curb, chances are it wasn’t filled there! Therefore one man, OR woman OR Child carried it!

      • puzzled says:

        Onions only grow seasonally.
        Soon there will be none.

  5. Y-Gurl says:

    Here we go again, garbage in = garbage out, reduction in service increase in tax equals efficiency in who’s book?? Cut their work by 50% and increase wages by 3% If the W&E employees were private employees there would be a completely different outcome this “minister “ is far far removed from reality and as usual the people of Bermuda are the ones who have to deal with the consequences of stupid ideas and decisions that are made by “leaders” with very little experience or qualifications for positions that are handed out.

  6. Trash bins says:

    I am hoping trash bins become mandatory like other parts of the world.

    • Triangle Drifter says:

      Yes, all of the same type & size, designed to be picked up by a single man operated trash truck. You put your trash bin in the right place or it does not get emptied.

      A self loading truck will cost more but it does not need holidays, needs little health care, & does not need to go to any meetings.

  7. kevin says:

    Lets see other great plp temps – permanent
    Temporary closure of the St.Georges police station
    Temporary bailey bridges ( causeway )
    Temporary trash pick up schedule once a week
    whats next

  8. Yikes says:

    I see a pattern here – an announcement and then an easing into the new reality. This once a week garbage collection will certainly be interesting in the heat of the Summer months . . . is this a cost cutting measure? The spending and cost cutting seems to be very controversial and at odds with each other; it seems that the average working person in this country is the one who is taking a beating by the administration in charge. Can we have cameras set up in Ms. Webb’s new office to see what is actually taking place there with well earned tax payer money? I am sure she may need trash collection daily for all the garbage happening over there . . . this is beyond ridiculous ;o) Bermuda wake up and smell the manure!

  9. James says:


  10. Toodle-oo says:

    When I once worked in a transportation related industry and the schedule was reduced by 50% in the off season staffing was also reduced by 50%. What will be the savings here ? Oh ,that’s right , none ! The union runs the government so there will no saving at all .
    Furthermore , will the minster who ‘gets things done’ finally come down on the fly tippers who will surely explode ? Will he come down on people who still act like we’re on a 2 day a week collection schedule putting out their trash on a non existent collection day ? People who after a decade still have not figured out that the trash does not get collected the day after a public holiday ? And the people (slobs) who put their trash out the night (or days ) before the actual collection day so the birds can tear the bags apart and then a gale comes along and scatters their trash all over ? I can live with once a week collection but it’s obvious that way too many can’t and don’t care to adjust and they need to be addressed.

  11. meh says:

    “locals and residents alike” – why does this man always have to divide.

  12. Warrior says:

    Cost cuttingi measure… thik now as trash is not pickekd up every Friday in my area BUT collected don Saturdays…OT measure for

  13. Lloyd Van putten says:

    If you all have so much mouth sign your Real Names I take my hat off to the gentleman that pick up are Trash and Colonel Burch.

    • Wahoo says:

      Sorry but plp had all the answers pre July 2017 now nothing but bad news for the people of Bda. Take your hat off all you want to whom ever you want. The truth is that the colonel and his/your party are planning to spend money elsewhere and are glad to have soldiers such as yourself that accept this ignorance.
      P.s. the guys picking up trash are soon going to be paying higher taxes.

    • Question says:

      You take your hat off to reduced services and increased taxes. Why? Like we don’t know.

    • Honestly says:

      When you look at the amount of money spent on overtime, it makes sense to cut collection days. Every time something is changed by the PLP there is a problem. It just makes sense. Tunes Bay opening for more hours must be discussed.

    • Top Gear says:

      the plp issues free green knee pads for their crawlers,go and get yours.

    • Anbu says:

      Real names dont make a difference. It just gives you lot someone to target. You think putting your name down solidifies it as truth?! Lmao. You guys make me holler. Ok. My real name is Daniel. And just a little tidbit. The man is not a colonal. He isnt in the military anymore. Pretty sure u need to be capt or major to have that title permanently attached to your name.

  14. MM says:

    I have not read, I have not read , of extended hours for Tynes Bay , maybe it was written somewhere in the whole of the news to the public. Can you imagine 5 thousand cars trying to off load trash each day , during restricted hours.

  15. Ok…that’s fine…..great savings where is it ?
    What is it being used for?
    S’ah lot of money.

  16. A consistant complaint huh?
    Nonsense…I …for one do not accept that…these lift bins came from?
    Picking trash less is permanent…your saying then there is a one point seven million savings in revinue.What exactly is this being used for?
    And yes…it is my business…it is all our business!

  17. More so than yours…you don’t pay our taxes….

  18. Southampton says:

    Once a week?
    I live in the Rockaway area and our trash has not been
    picked up for 2 weeks. More like once a month for
    trash pick up here.
    I am going to start putting my trash bags at Col Burch’s
    door step.

  19. Triangle Drifter says:

    Yes, all of the same type & size, designed to be picked up by a single man operated trash truck. You put your trash bin in the right place or it does not get emptied.

    A self loading truck will cost more but it does not need holidays, needs little health care, & does not need to go to any meetings.

  20. Rodent Alert says:

    That’s just a real issue…

  21. Trump suppprter says:

    Somewhat are the drivers doing the off days. I’m sure there’s not 5 days a week of trash pick up.
    They can always drive the buses.

  22. Concerned Bermudian says:

    So many complaining on social media…. time for action. Vote no confidence. Make noise. Action needed not all these unheeded words. We ALL need to fight together for a better Bermuda. This is our home. Our children’s future. How we ALL work together?

  23. Me says:

    Well at least he reversed one thing the Brown reign spurged on yeahhhhhh

  24. Dis de pay more get less govt.

  25. aceboy says:

    What exactly are the savings vs twice a week collection?

    Do the drivers and workers earn any less? Or are they getting the same pay for half the work?