Sanitation engineers speak out

The Island Newspaper, Ambergris Caye, Belize            Vol. 18, No. 14            April 3, 2008

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Through out the past few months, countless letters have been written and addressed to media houses, the San Pedro Town Council, Area Representative for Belize Rural South and Minister of Tourism Honorable Manuel Heredia Jr., and to the general populace. Whether they arrived by email, fax or snail mail, all these letters have pointed out one thing; the garbage situation on the island. Although, our first inclination is to look at someone to blame, the individuals responsible and paid to collect the garbage around town have not spoken. Until now.

    On Friday, March 28th, a meeting was held at the San Pedro Town Council offices and five truck drivers along with 15 sanitation engineers were present. The meeting was held in an aim to address the general concern and to get feedback from the “men on the streets” as to what can be done to help make their job easier, faster, and more effectively. It has always been said that “Crime is everyone’s problem,” and the same can be said of our town’s garbage situation. Everyone doing a little, helps out a lot. Our sanitation engineers have small requests which offer huge rewards. They are as follows:

    *Bag your garbage – It seems easy enough to do but it is something not all of us do. Kindly place all your garbage in proper bags, not only will this assist our engineers but it eliminates the possibility of our trash flying out of our bins into the streets.

    *Keep your bins close to the gate – some bins are kept inside yards and engineers are asking that they be moved closer to the street but still within your property’s limits. This will eliminate the possibility of a dog, which may be in the yard, biting the engineer or something going missing inside your yard and the blame being placed on them. *Residents are asked to kindly keep your bins closed, this will not allow dogs or other animals dispersing the garbage all over, or the wind flying it away.

    *Construction sites are not the responsibility of the SPTC’s engineers. Contractors are asked to kindly take their own waste to the dump site. The SPTC may charge a fee to assist any contractor but that will be on a time and resource available basis. If time and the resources are available, they will help, if there is none, contractors need to find someone else to cart their garbage away.

    *Sanitation engineers appreciate the help that they receive from tow truck drivers and workers who are privately hired to move garbage. However, they are kindly reminded that garbage must be taken ALL the way to the dumpsite. Dumping garbage on empty lots or on the side streets to the dump is illegal and culprits may be fined. They are also reminded to be careful when hauling the garbage making sure that it is not spilling out of the truck to the street.

    *SPTC engineers have five different routes. These routes are carried out a various times during the day. Residents are asked to take their garbage out at or before the specified times, especially in the town core. If the garbage is taken out at the required time it eliminates garbage bins in the center of town being filled with trash. The times are as follows:

Route Time Town Core: 3:00 a.m. – 8:00 a.m. Boca del Rio & San Juan: 3:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. San Pedrito - Southern Road: 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. Coconut Drive – dump: noon until done DFC – dump: 12:00 noon until done

    Garbage collection in San Pedro is a service provided free of charge by the San Pedro Town Council. Depending on the size and type of a business a fee of $25 to $200 is charged for their garbage collection and disposal.

    With our help, sanitation engineers will be able to get their job done better. Are you willing to do your part?
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