Minister commissioned SOAB to look at the “Terms of Reference” on Landfill management — Solid Waste Collection improved.
PHILIPSBURG:— The Minister of VROMI announced on Wednesday that the he said in beginning that his Ministry is there to serve the people of St. Maarten, therefore they are taking the necessary steps to make the necessary improvements. Meyers said just two months ago the contracts for the collection of waste was awarded to several contractors. He said that in the beginning there were some hiccups during the transition phase in three areas namely parcel one, five and six. As of today he said parcel one which is the Philipsburg area they found a solution for the problems in that area. However, in parcel 5 and 6 lots of improvements have been made but still there are some complaints still coming in to his Ministry. Meyers said that the services given to parcel 5 and 6 is still not up to par, he admitted that the responsibilities lies with government but they have been outsourcing the services to contractors and they expect that proper service be given. He said over the two months period progress has been made in parcel 5 and 6 as the contractor hired a new manager to oversee the operations in that area, however, his Ministry still receives some complaints on a weekly basis. Due to that the department of VROMI intends to hold a meeting with the haulers to inform them of their performance over the past two months and what government expects of them. That meeting will be held on Thursday. He also mentioned that the department is working on the garbage schedule in order for it to be disseminated.
As for the landfill the Minister said he commissioned the SOAB to look at the Terms of Reference given to the contractor in order for them to analyze it and to make suggestions in order for them to upgrade the Terms of Reference and give it to the contractor so he knows what the requirements of maintaining the landfill are. Meyers further stated that he will be travelling to the USA next week to attend a waste expo with the intention to purchase recycling bins which would be placed in the various districts and start a public campaign to get the people to start recycling their waste before disposing of it. He said so far they received a lot of complaints about the landfill and he believes that now is the time for everyone to participate in order to resolving the problems in the interim until a waste to energy plant is constructed on St. Maarten. Meyers said if the people cooperate then they could reduce the amount of garbage taken to the landfill by 40%. He said government held meetings with several stakeholders, they will be providing the recycling bins in all the districts and public facilities areas and schools while the will start with a PSA (Public Service Announcement) in order to get everyone living on St. Maarten to contribute to the recycling project in order to bring down the mountain in the middle of Philipsburg.
38 contractors submitted bids for district cleaning.
The Minister said on April 25th an information session was held on the district cleaning program which will run for 2016 to 2018. He said on May 12th some 38 contractors submitted bids for the 13 parcels. The Minister said he considered that process a successful process and a number of new companies participated in the bidding process. Ministers Meyers said the department of VROMI completed the evaluation of the bidding and he expects a draft advice from the department by the end of this week which will be submitted to the Council of Ministers for their approval. In this draft advice it will outline who was awarded the contract for each of the 13 parcels.