Austin Howe, General Manager of Diamond Services, Ltd. says his company will resume garbage collection across the island on Thursday, but it will be at least two weeks before they are back to their regular schedule.
Speaking today on ZJB Radio with Herman Sargeant, Howe explained what transpired which caused the company to be unable to collect garbage since Monday.
Howe apologised for his company’s inability to fulfill their contractual agreement with Government of Montserrat to provide waste collection services for residential and commercial establishments. He explained that on Sunday, a three-vehicle accident occurred, and it involved their sole garbage truck which was parked at the time.
Since 2021, the company has been working with only one garbage truck as the other was destroyed in the Carr’s Bay flood.
Howe said in their 27 years of doing this work they have never been hampered like this.
Initially, they thought that the truck would have been back in operation by Wednesday and had made a public notice to that regard. However, upon closer inspection, the damage is more severe than previously thought and the truck is inoperable at this time. There are also legal implications, he explained, involving insurance.
Across parts of Montserrat, garbage can be seen roadside as in some communities they must bring it to the main road as the truck is unable to go into some streets.
Howe said that while they work on a permanent solution, the company will utilise smaller trucks to collect garbage. He could not say what the schedule will be as they are working with the limitations of the vehicles available. While the situation is not ideal also from a health and safety perspective for his team, they are willing to do what is necessary to resolve the issue.
He added that he cannot guarantee when they will be back on schedule, but he believes it will be at least a week and a half to two weeks before they can return to normal pick-up times.
In the interim, residents are asked to keep their garbage on their property. Bins should be covered to reduce animals getting into the trash. He also suggests dousing the bags which are already outside with bleach to deter animals.
These are challenging times, Howe said, but they will get through it.
Thursday’s pickup will be in Olveston and surrounding areas.