SSA to undergo changes

A PROPOSAL to restructure the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) should be before Cabinet soon.

According to Minister of Environment and Drainage, Dr. Denis Lowe, his ministry is now starting the final stages of preparing a report to Cabinet for the full scale restructuring of the SSA, which he said will impact every area of service delivering and administration of that waste management agency. Lowe’s comments came as he explained that since the SSA came into existence, no changes have been made to the State run entity to ensure it can meet the needs of Barbados today.

He made the comments during a recent press conference at his Warrens office, as he revealed that with a budget of $80 million a year to keep this country clean, his Ministry has to come up with creative ways to address the issue of waste management. In this vein, he said, more focus will be placed on the consumption perspective of waste management.

The disclosure came as he also indicated that consideration is being given to outfitting the SSA’s existing vehicles with tracking devices. This technology, he explained, would help them to know where the vehicles go, the pace at which they work ,and whether or not they are delivering the full service every day. He made the point as he revealed they are also examining the cost of acquiring new vehicles for the Authority, to help bolster the existing fleet.

“Right now a Sanitation Service Authority compactor truck is costing the SSA $400 000, plus a little for one truck. What that means is that it is an investment whose return is only in the maintenance of a clean society,” he said.

With that in mind, he said acquiring vehicles that are powered by green energy is a possibility. In fact, the Environment Minister said they are currently exploring the idea of sourcing a few of those vehicles to deploy on routes, to see how they would work in the Barbadian context.

“One of the challenges in Barbados, as we move towards solar power or electricity driven vehicles, is that we have to look at whether or not the system of maintenance and repair is available, readily available, and what would be the cost of doing such, because of course we have to keep these vehicles on the road. [Also] if they have to be power charged, then when do we set them down for that? And is the collection of waste a business where you have the luxury of setting down vehicles for six hours to have them powered up before they run again? That would have some implications for your fleet size, because obviously when some vehicles are resting and recharging, they would have to be replaced by additional vehicles,” he explained. (JRT)


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