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Feb 6, 2019

Belmopan CitCo Garbage Truck Spills Trash across Hummingbird Highway

Today, a driver along the Hummingbird Highway captured a flow of garbage near mile forty-nine. The garbage wasn’t litter along the road; it was garbage being transferred to the dump site in a Belmopan City Council garbage truck. The truck didn’t have a tarp or covering to secure the waste material and the Styrofoam, plastic, paper and other waste was spilling along the usually clean and green highway. We reached out to City Administrator Ralston Frazier, who is out of office but told us, “This is not good and is not representative of Belmopan City Council.” He promised to address the matter and referred us to Sanitation Director Philip Timmons.  Timmons had not yet seen the video, but we were told that it is common practice for the garbage trucks to transfer waste without a tarp. He said via phone today that they are working to address it.


On the Phone: Philip Timmons, Sanitation Director, Belmopan City Council

“Your information is almost right but we are working on that. We are working on that. As a matter of fact, there were a few people out there on Saturday doing something on the highway as I know. They are rectifying that.”


Andrea Polanco

“What is being done to ensure that these trucks are covered and that the materials – the waste – that they are transferring is secured?”


On the Phone: Philip Timmons

“You are mentioning – I have been informed that there are instances where stuff have fallen off the truck and those things seem to have accumulated with other debris. I know that plans are in place to clean up the area to retrieve whatever debris might be along that portion of the highway.  Our trucks have the tarp to go on them but from time to time we have situation where they are overfilled or something that drops off the truck. But I don’t see it as a matter that we cannot control or deal with.”


Andrea Polanco

“There is, I believe, a level of responsibility that the City Council needs to take and to ensure that these trucks always use the cover regardless if it means the trucks don’t go over loaded?”


On the Phone: Philip Timmons

“Yes. As I mentioned that matter is being looked into and there are steps being taken with whatever little issues to address the situation. I can tell you that our trucks do have the tarps that go on them but from time to time they are humans and there would be instance where they are overfilled. They should not have been overfilled and we are dealing with the situation to minimize or eliminate that situation. Or that we should be transporting the garbage in our container truck. That is the ideal situation but there are instances when we use the open back truck and they have tarps and little slippages occur but it is not of that magnitude that I think you are making it.”


Andrea Polanco

“Sir, perhaps you didn’t see the video today. It didn’t have any tarp – there was absolutely no cover and it was carrying Styrofoam, plastics and things that are easily blown into the environment?”


On the Phone: Philip Timmons

“I am not saying no. I am saying if that is the case that shouldn’t be happening and we are taking steps to correct it.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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