SPTC strives for better garbage disposal service

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 11, No. 5            February 1, 2001

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Credit must be given where it is due and the San Pedro Town Council certainly deserves this. They have done a wonderful job with their clean-up of the mess left behind by Hurricane Keith. This hardworking team, under the able supervision of Councilor Pedro "Jimbo" Vasquez has worked tirelessly to make "La Isla" once again "Bonita." Nevertheless, their task is one that can only be accomplished with the help of the residents of this island.

    The San Pedro Sun has received many calls from islanders with concerns regarding certain areas in San Pedro. These areas have become an eye sore due to the debris that has accumulated. This newspaper set out to find out what is being done to remedy this situation and was pleasantly notified of the following.

    According to Councilor Vasquez, the San Pedro Town Council will be implementing a new system to eliminate the garbage problem on the island. In the next meeting of the Town Council, they will discuss the possible purchase of two compactor trucks to be used for garbage collection. If this is accepted, residents will have to put their refuse in garbage bags before it is collected. Nevertheless, a trailer will be kept to use for bulk garbage when necessary. As with the rest of the country, the San Pedro Town Council does not foresee the privatization of garbage anytime soon. 

    A clean-up campaign has commenced in the San Juan area in which 16 students and six town council workers, equipped with one truck and tractor, are working to clear the area of debris. After the area is free of garbage, 12 drums will be placed at designated houses for the use of residents. The people are asked to build a stand for these drums so as to keep dogs or raccoons from turning over their trash bins. The drums were a donation from Area Representative Patty Arceo.

    An area of concern is that of absentee land owners whose lots are not taken care of. These have also become an eye sore for tourists and residents. To this, Councilor Vasquez replied that cases of this nature should be reported to the Health Inspector, Mr. Florencio Acosta. He, in turn, is responsible for contacting the owners, advising them of the situation. If nothing is done, the San Pedro Town Council should be contacted to take care of this problem. In this case, the owners of the lot in question will be liable for a fine and possible court action. The same applies to live-in residents whose lots are unsanitary.

    Now that the bulk of the debris from the hurricane has been cleared, residents needing help to rid their property of larger amounts of trash accumulated from the storm may contact the San Pedro Town Council for assistance. Mr. Vasquez added that the daily garbage collectors are not responsible for disposing of this type of debris but a call to the San Pedro Town Council will get the job done. Although the Council is presently offering this service, it is important to mention that discarded construction materials are the responsibility of the owner or contractor.

    Other sections of San Pedro, such as San Pedrito and Airstrip Areas are also being cleared through a grant received courtesy of the Ministry of Tourism.

    Councilor Vasquez assures the people of the island that the San Pedro Town Council is very serious about this situation and hopes to eliminate the current problems very soon. He also informs all residents and businesses whose garbage is not being collected to kindly let them know by calling 2198. Once again "Thumbs Up" to this hardworking crew.

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