PHILIPSBURG – The Ministry of VROMI is taking accountability for the garbage collection.
“The Minister of VROMI, Honorable Minister Meyers is hereby apologizing to the community of St. Maarten for the inconvenience that occurred during the time of transition of the new haulers inconsistency of the collection of garbage. As government, we are here to serve the people of St. Maarten. We took and are still busy taking the necessary steps to rectify the situation. We are maintaining our accountability to the community of St. Maarten and taking pride in our country,” stated a press release from the VROMI Ministry.
“Government still stands by bringing in extra local garbage collectors at the cost of the contracted haulers if the hauler’s performance is not improved in their contracted parcel. We are, however, seeing progress in the garbage collection. An evaluation is still being conducted and also inspections are being carried out to ensure the contractors are following the garbage collection schedule,” the release continued.
During the time of transition from the old to new haulers, Parcel 5 and 6 were experiencing the most difficulties. Parcel 5 and 6 consists of the areas St. Peters, Reward, Cul-de-Sac, Cay Hill, and Bush Road. Since then the contractor has hired a new Manager to oversee operations. There has been some improvement. However, Government is still monitoring the progress the company is making.
The Philipsburg area’s garbage also had a delay in collection during the transition phase. The Minister made clear the difference between residential waste, which the haulers were contracted for, and commercial waste.
The collection of commercial waste is on the responsibility of the individual businesses. According to Articles 19 and 20 of the Waste ordinance (AB 2013, GT no. 135), it is forbidden for the producers of commercial waste (Businesses), to deliver for collection to the Haulers/Collecting Services their commercial waste. The producers of commercial waste are obliged to dispose of this waste regularly to the assigned landfill at their own expense, whether it be by themselves or via third parties.
The Minister met with representatives of the Indian Merchants Association (IMA) to clearly define the roles of the parties involved. In the interim, Government is picking up the garbage in the commercial area of Philipsburg, while working collectively on a permanent solution.
The garbage collection schedule for all parcels are currently being formatted to be made available to the public. The schedules will be displayed in the public newspapers, the government website (www.sintmaartengov.org) and also the Ministry of VROMI Facebook page.