Contractors said that opposition politicians are setting up people to dump garbage and set fires on the dump.
PHILIPSBURG:– The contractors that were awarded the bid for garbage collection in parcel five and six broke their silence once again. Robelto Flanders and Leroy La Paix of Robelto and Sons said in an interview with SMN News that those dumping garbage in St. Peters is doing it deliberately for political purposes. “These people are being motivated by the opposition because their aim is to make the present coalition government look bad during this election period.”
La Paix said on Tuesday morning he caught a man with a pick-up truck dumping garbage beside the garbage bins in the vicinity of the Jose Lake Ball Park. He said persons that have a pick-up with garbage especially trees, branches or heavy household garbage has to take the items directly to the landfill and not dump them beside the road.
Robelto Flanders, admitted that in the beginning that they had issues which were all sorted out, he said the situation is not totally perfect but their goal is to make it better by the day, nevertheless, he said as the garbage collector they have to do their work at a desirable level that is also acceptable to all. He said in parcel 5 and 6 he is of the opinion that they are doing a very good job since they are getting feedback from the community and they are also conducting quality control checks. Flanders also confirmed that he submitted a request for specific garbage bins but to date, they have not received them, he said the department of VROMI informed him they are working on getting the garbage bins but in the meantime, they are using what they have.
He made clear that the process is ongoing, they are striving to do the job to their utmost best, but with the deliberate dumping of garbage by people in the districts and setting fires on the dump is not hurting the contractor alone, but it is hurting the economy and the environment.
In breaking down the bidding process, La Paix said that despite whichever government were in office they had intended to bid for garbage collection in 2015. La Paix explained that he and his brother worked tirelessly to put their bids together and at the end, they won 4 out of the 8 parcels outright.
He said when they went in for the bidding, there were over 40 persons were there but that narrowed down to 20 contractors.
La Paix said that when they presented their bid they won four parcels including parcel 5 and 6. The two other parcels he said government asked them to give them to other contractors in order for them not to over burden themselves, one of the contracts was given to James Richardson and the other to Green Diamond. La Paix said that their contract began on April 1st and by April 2nd people were complaining because the former contractor did not complete their job to the very end.
Another point La Paix made was that Roberto and Sons saved the government over NAF.20M for the five-year period. He said this has some people angry especially MP Tamara Leonard. La Paix said that the Leonard’s lost monies because the last five years they were making over NAF13M while this time around they are only going to make about NAF. 3.6M. “This is in my view is a huge lost for them and as such, they are upset and is doing everything to sabotage the new contractors.”
La Paix said that it’s the current Prime Minister who allowed the young local contractors to get the opportunity to partake in the bidding process. He said that the Prime Minister opened the bidding process when he was acting Minister of VROMI.
La Paix further explained that while he is aware that people are sabotaging them, this is the first time he caught people in the act and will be submitting the photos he took to the department of VROMI and the police if necessary. Leroy La Paix said even though the situation is becoming tiresome, he is sure that after the elections are over the sabotaging will stop, while they will continue to strive to deliver quality work to the people of St. Maarten.
As for the fires on the landfill both Flanders and La Paix said that the fires are deliberately set, he said the most recent one that started where the tires are stored was a solid proof because even the firemen said to them that the way the fire started was strange. He said he is hoping that the Fire Department will include their findings in their report.
Flanders said that he wants everyone to know that setting fires on the Landfill is dangerous, for everyone on St. Maarten he said the toxic smoke is not good for the people that are residing on St. Maarten and also the island visitors.
Flanders and La Paix confirmed that through the Minister of Health Emil Lee and the Prime Minister they are in touch with a company that will come to St. Maarten to give more information on a liquid that will foam when sprayed on the landfill fires that will stop the smoking. This he said is in its preliminary stages. Asked about recycling La Paix said they are also working on that too but that project also did not kick off as yet.
MP Frankie Meyers told me this time around he will campaign on the Garbage Collection and Landfill.
La Paix said that about two weeks ago he met MP Franklin Meyers at a local restaurant on the French side and he said that the MP told him point blank that this election season he will be campaigning on the garbage collection and the landfill.
La Paix said the MP told him that he has nothing against them but those are the topics that he will campaign for this election.
He said he told the MP to go ahead but he is not afraid to speak out and neither is he afraid to call names because when people are hurting the country he will stand up against it.
Source: St. Martin News Network
Caught in the act, illegal dumping of garbage.