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Oct 28, 2013

City Council defaults in payments to Belize Waste Control; is it habitual?

Darrell Bradley

The perennial issue of the cost of garbage collection in Belize City, the result of seemingly exorbitant contracts signed with sanitation companies years ago, is one which continues to plague successive city councils.  Despite all efforts to clean up and rejuvenate the Old Capital, City Hall, under the leadership of Mayor Darrell Bradley, remains in the viselike hold of its creditors.  His administration is currently behind on weekly payments to Belize Waste Control to the tune of approximately seven hundred and eighty thousand dollars.  That is ten weeks of nonpayment and, according to Mayor Bradley that default usually occurs around this time of year based on the council’s revenue stream.


Darrell Bradley, Belize City Mayor

“We are about maybe ten weeks behind with them and in relation to this current period we’re not anywhere more behind with them than we were last year.  The difficulty is, and we approach this from a structural point-of-view, the difficulty is, I maintain, these sanitation contracts represent forty-five percent of the city’s outlays.  It is too costly on the city, what we are doing is unsustainable.  If you recall last year Giovanni, at this present moment there were waste control personnel right in front of my office picketing.  I know that under Zenaida’s terms in office there was protesting as well, so that this is a situation which goes on for years and years and years and it’s only going to be solved if we take a very realistic look at the sanitation contractors.  One of the things that we had tried to do was put in place the residential garbage fee so that the cost for the city at least could be absorbed in part by residents taking up that responsibility.  A thing which will help us in relation to that is one of the sanitation contracts, BML’s contract which costs us seventy-eight thousand dollars per week, that will expire in January 2015 and what we have envisioned there is that we are not going to renew that contract and we are going to put in place what is called sway laws to require members of the public to maintain two feet in front of their property line.  That’s going to help us tremendously in terms of ensuring that there is alleviation and that the tax burden and the expense that sanitation costs the city goes down substantially.  If the BML contract is discharged by time that’s going to be a savings of four million dollars from the city’s revenue that we could put in streets, drains, public spaces and we could ensure that we don’t have that much of a problem with the waste control contract.  I’ve maintained that the collection of garbage is a necessity for the city, we need somebody to pick up the garbage, it’s a public health concern.  We are in discussions with the sanitation contractors.  I understand Waste Control’s position, I’m a businessman myself and it would be unnerving for me as a businessman to have to wait ten weeks for payment.  The reality is though that the regime in terms of sanitation in the city is unsustainable.”


According to the mayor, the Belize City Council intends to resume payments to Belize Waste Control in December.

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1 Response for “City Council defaults in payments to Belize Waste Control; is it habitual?”

  1. Teacher says:

    Just in case anyone would be curios to know: Spanish Lookout as a Community doesn’t have any ‘garbage collection’ budget – very minute if any, and is acclaimed by many to be one of the cleanest places in Belize. Does that tell you anything?

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