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Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 31, 2019 (SKNIS): Starting August 01, 2019, the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) will be embarking on an initiative to remove communal bins from communities and will commence clean-up of those areas, says Minister of Health, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, during a sitting of Parliament on July 30, 2019.

Minister Hamilton stated that garbage disposal issues that occur in communities are due to communal bins.

“There are filthy conditions by these bins inside and out,” he said. “When it gets full people throw their things on the ground and make the place look very untidy, unsafe as well. Now solid waste is in a better position after looking at it and studying it to deal with this problem.”

According to the minister, to replace the need for communal bins, the SWMC will be increasing garbage collection in all communities. They will be executing a door-to-door collection model where garbage will be collected twice per week. 

“To accomplish this, Mr. Speaker, what Solid Waste did was create a zoning or mapping of the country,” he said. “They created 27 zones and from those 27 zones, 13 of which SWMC now services, the others are done by individual contractors.”

To ensure that the services are efficient, certain rules have been put in place. Household waste must be separated from other waste materials, while construction or demolition waste, hazardous materials, white goods, tiers, metal, human or animal waste will not be collected. Also persons collecting waste will be paid by their performance.

The minister added that commercial waste will continue to be collected on a separate arrangement involving a private contractor, but household waste generated in every apartment and every household will be collected.

It was stated that the SWMC has established an inspection department, which will have the responsibility of ensuring that the quality of services is upheld in every zone. This is in addition to contractors who are employed as inspectors. They will work with the SWMC inspectors to ensure high quality services.

“Inspectors are expected to be active, especially those we have at Solid Waste, in a proactive way,” said the minister. “We want the public to continue to work with Solid Waste to improve and manage waste in the country.”

The pilot programme that will officially launch on August 01, was first carried out in Frigate Bay, Half Moon Bay, and Bird Rock. Minister Hamilton stated that the residents have indicated that there is a vast improvement in waste disposal.

“That is why we feel confident now about implementing it across the entire country,” said the health minister. “We believe that communication with communities will be vital. Certain dates and collection times will be communicated. This will give the communities the opportunity to adjust.”

Minister Hamilton is encouraging all communities to cooperate.

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