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Jul 30, 2008

Garbage controversy ends with fire

Story PictureExactly two weeks ago, a Belize City man was crying for help to solve health hazards caused by garbage trucks parked at his home near the Pound Yard Bridge. Today News Five’s Jose Sanchez has an update.

Jose Sanchez, Reporting
On July fifteenth we were approached by Colin Ebanks, who lives near Pound Yard Bridge. He was very upset about the flies and stench coming from garbage trucks across the alley in front of his house.

Colin Ebanks, Angry Resident
“These three garbage trucks that are parked next to me, I’ve been complaining about it for weeks. When the north wind is blowing I can’t even open my house because of the stench. You can take a flash with the camera after this and see all the blue concas that have been harbouring from the trucks and that’s the problem I’ve been complaining for months. I went to City Council, they send me to different people. They come here, they say they were gonna give a letter to the people that control the truck and so far they haven’t don that yet because nothing has been done about it and this is from the year start. I’ve been complaining.”

Jose Sanchez
“Are you willing to accept the trucks being here as long as they find a way to deal with the flies?”

Colin Ebanks
“If they deal with the flies and they can deal with the stench, I have no problem.”

That afternoon I spoke to City Councillor in charge of sanitation and public health, Wayne Usher, who said that they would have dealt with the situation. It seemed like a happy ending to an albeit, smelly situation but today, two weeks later, the owner of the three trucks, Brent Lopez, said the problem was not solved.

Brent Lopez, Business Waste Management Cooperative Ltd.
“The guy is claiming that the City Council is not making any effort to deal with the matter but we have been in conversation with the City council through miss Stephanie; she is the environmental supervisor I think. But weh happen it’s just one down to the next; one mishap to the next. What happened, my truck was stolen about two months ago from off the compound and when I found it on the highway the transmission was busted. That is the reason why garbage was in the truck. I could understand the gentleman that said the garbage was found. It did have a stench and we dealt with it. If you notice right now you don’t smell anything but smoke. But is just saying we are not dealing with the matter.”

“It was parked but we don’t keep garbage in the truck. It probably wasn’t dumped as yet but don’t usually keep garbage in the truck. What happened, people, the neighbours are throwing garbage into the compactor and I made that complaint to the city council and they asked me to tow the truck away but I said tow it away to where. To become a scrap yard for people? The man came by; the same man that made the complaints initially. He told the guys that when we find the truck burnt it’s him and we can go to the police and make a complaint and let them come for him. So right I have the driver of the truck at the C.I.B. making a complaint right now.”

Employee, Business Waste Management Cooperative Ltd.
“Two weeks ago di guy from over deh tell we dat how he wah burn up the truck. So he pass ovea pan di canal side deh tell we ih wah come round mek wi si fi he face. So when ih come round wi si ih face ova dah side. Then he tell wi when unnu si di truck burn mek we tell fi we boss mek ih come look fi he and ker di police da fi he house. And from deh when we come dah work dis mawning we see di truck bun.”

Brent Lopez
“Well if you notice the truck is totaled. It’s nothing short of fifty thousand to begin with to get this back.”

Jose Sanchez
“They say the garbage truck burn down and they say that you’re the one who did it. Did you?”

Colin Ebanks
“I did not burn any garbage truck and if I was suppose to burn any garbage truck I would have burned the one that is working right now. The truck that was burned has been there like about three weeks and haven’t moved and I think they tried to get insurance and trying to frame somebody wid wah bag ah leh leh. But if dah fire dehn want I could throw fire. Dehn need fi move dehn big stinking truck weh Mr. Usher get pan di three weeks ago and seh dehn wah move and dehn still deh deh di kill mi wid di stench. I dah no wah crazy man, I noh wah burn wah truck weh no di work. If I mi burn I mi wah burn di one weh di work.”

Lopez told News Five the truck is not insured and while the waste management company claims to have been threatened, no one actually saw Colin Ebanks start a fire. Reporting for News Five, Jose Sanchez.

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