Garbage overruns an area in the Diego Martin Regional Corporation.

The Diego Martin Regional Corporation (DMRC) was warned by one of its sanitation contractors that the schedule imposed on them could lead to overflowing communal bins.

Following a Guardian Media report, highlighting complaints from the burgesses yesterday on the overflowing receptacles in Carenage and La Puerta Avenue, the contractor responsible for disposal in those areas said the corporation was warned.

BK Holdings managing director Jameel Sadeek shared the correspondence between the corporation and the company.

On December 11 the regional corporation’s Public Health Officer notified the company that there would be no retrieval of garbage on Christmas and New Year’s day but instead on the day before each holiday.

On December 22, Sadeek wrote the corporation on behalf of BK Holdings, warning that the schedule was “a recipe for disaster.”

“This is a recipe for disaster since there would be no bin service from Thursday 24 December 2020 to Monday 28 December 2020 which is four days,” he said in the letter.

“And as you are well aware, bin sites are literal dumping grounds and there is no way that these sites can accommodate four (4) days of dumping without service over the Christmas period,” he continued.

Sadeek went on to advise that one day be added to the collection schedule over the long weekends, ideally on a Saturday, to adequately deal with the anticipated volume of garbage.

Copied on the letter to the DMRC was the regional corporation’s chairman, corporate secretary, the chairman of health, the Minister of Rural Development and Local Government, the ministry’s permanent secretary, the Members of Parliament for all the Diego Martin constituencies, nine of the corporation’s councillors, Aldermen Spencer Tardier, Sterling Chance, and Irene Hinds as well as an attorney at law Suzette Bullen.

The letter was stamped as received by the regional corporation on December 23.

In an interview with Guardian Media, the BK Holdings managing director also agreed with residents that the issue was also an occurrence year-round and isn’t isolated to this one incident.

He explained that this was because of two factors.

He said it was because the thrice-weekly pickup schedule given to them by the corporation was insufficient and to compound it, they aren’t contracted to provide the required volume of garbage receptacles and disposals for the quantity of waste often found in some locations such as the sites in question.

“Some of the collection sites where a three cubic yard or three cubic meter bin is placed- you really need about 10 or 12 cubic meters to be able to contain the garbage to prevent the dumping. What they tell you is they don’t have money and you have to do it within their money constraints,” he said.

When contacted about the claims, DMRC chairman Sigler Jack told Guardian Media that a similar schedule has always been utilised within the region around the Christmas period. He explained that the issue of garbage collection is complex with several different factors at play to ensure the system runs smoothly.

He admitted that there are some areas which are prone to issues like the ones in question while others within the region have seamless service. This, he said, highlighted the complexity of the matter.

One facet in the issue, he said, is the culture of the people.

He explained that there are some people who would dispose of their garbage in other areas to avoid congesting their own. Acknowledging the burgesses complaints, he said the corporation has this issue high on its priority list and that he would begin formal discussions on the matter with the council as early as next week. However, he said he already started the ball rolling yesterday morning and even visited some of the sites in person.