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Jan 10, 2017

Dispute between PASA, Solid Waste Management Will Not Stop Garbage Disposal

PASA Belize Limited, the operator of the solid waste transfer stations, suddenly informed Solid Waste Management Authority that they ceased operations effective Monday, January ninth. The halt of operations means that transfer stations of San Ignacio/Santa Elena, Burrell Boom, Belize City, San Pedro and Caye Caulker, as well as the Mile Twenty-Four Regional Sanitary Landfill will be affected. A release today from the Solid Waste Management Authority states that, “the Ministry and Belize Solid Waste Management Authority (BSWaMA) assures the municipalities and the general public that they are making every effort to contain the situation.” From what we understand, there is contention between the two parties that arose from an erroneous clause in the contract.  At this point in time, the Authority has turned the matter over to their legal representatives and in the interim, has made arrangements to handle garbage management.  Today, we caught up with City Councilor Dion Leslie to find out if the Council is prepared for any fall back if the matter isn’t rectified quickly. While we note that this matter doesn’t fall under the purview of the City Council, the City’s garbage is taken to one of the stations at mile three. So, Leslie stressed that garbage collection and City Council sanitation works will continue as per normal and so it is highly unlikely that residents will be affected:

 

Dion Leslie

Dion Leslie, Councilor, Belize City Council

“What we are in charge of will continue. Garbage collection will continue as scheduled. I spoke with Mister Lamb today and he has assured me that nothing will change; your garbage will be picked up. In that same breath, the City Council, our sanitation department will continue our normal operations; our night crew cleaning the streets, picking up the garbage in the morning, the hotspots, cutting of overgrown lots and cleaning of streets – so everything is as is; nothing will change. Yes, the actual transfer station has been shut down. In talking to the people from Solid Waste Management, they have assured me that at the same location, they will demarcate a spot for us to go and dispose of our garbage until the issue between themselves and PASA is resolved. They assured me that it shouldn’t be too long – they are having minor issues I believe and it should be resolved quickly. I don’t want to comment too much on it because that they are dealing with lawyers between the two entities. But I can assure the Belizean public that your garbage will be picked up on time and as Mister Lamb has said that even if they have to go all the way to do the transfer at the actual site at mile twenty-four, that they will have to do that. And, of course, I believe if that does happen it will slow down the garbage collection process a bit but we are not even there yet. As it stands now, your garbage will still be picked up and taken to mile 3 and will be disposed there at a demarcated location and from there we go where we have to go.”

 

Andrea Polanco

“Now, Councilor, just to clarify, for people who have their own garbage and they take that over themselves all bagged up – they can still do that as well?”

 

Dion Leslie

“Solid Waste Management will put in people there – City Council will work with them to put people there to ensure that, you know, because we know that everyone isn’t signed up with commercial garbage. We know that a lot of restaurants and commercial entities take their garbage there themselves; so we will ensure that that does not stop and that it is still open. Like we said, the actual transfer station just won’t open, there will be a demarcated spot on the compound itself where you go and dispose of your garbage.”

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