Solid waste dept for city City Council Round-Up
By Cecil Griffith
Stabroek News
October 6, 2003

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A new department will soon be added to the administration of the Georgetown municipality. Mr. Rufus Lewis a senior officer in the Medical Office of Health department is tipped as the man to be in charge of the new Municipal Solid Waste Management Department.

As a recent meeting of the city council, deputy mayor Robert Williams outlined to councillors the conditions required for the establishment. One of its responsibilities will be the management of the Eccles landfill facility.

As a consequence of an Aide Memoire being signed by the Finance Ministry, the Local Government Ministry and the Mayor and City Council together with the Inter-American Development Bank, the council is required to set up the solid waste department which is to be equal in status to the other departments within the council.

The new department is to be supported by a financial and procurement unit, a community relations and stakeholder consultation manager, a data management unit, and a monitoring and enforcement unit.

The deputy mayor revealed that as a result of the coming into being of the new department there is need for the existing salaries structure to be upgraded with the extra cost estimated to be nearly US $13,000 dollars for the period October 1 to December 31, 2003.

The Aide Memoire involves an IDB loan of $10M US.


The new department is to take over some 300 acres of Guysuco lands at Eccles at a yearly rate to be determined by the management of the facility, sign contracts with a private operator for the sanitary landfill through a transparent bidding process and manage a special solid waste fund to be established by the council.

Assurances must be given that the Public Health and Environmental Protection Agency’s laws are complied with.

The deputy mayor said the setting up of the department is aimed specifically at solving Georgetown’s and its environs’ solid waste disposal problem through the implementation of a sanitary landfill at Eccles, including the participation of the private sector.

The new system aims to be efficient, prevent pollution, and protect the public’s health and the environment.

Solid waste has been on the agenda of the city council for more than five years with many reports being submitted by experts from abroad and local personnel on how to get rid of the capital’s waste in a sanitary manner.

The Medical Officer of Health Dr. Vibert Shury as well as Mr. Lewis have attended a number of meetings in Guyana and North America on solid waste.

The government’s interest

The Guyana government with assistance from PAHO/WHO has arranged a three-day workshop at the Cara Inn conference room on Sector Analysis on Solid Waste in Guyana, beginning this afternoon.

The workshop will set the methodological and technical framework on which the solid waste and Sectoral Analysis will be based.

Participants will be welcomed by Mayor Hamilton Green, the Permanent Secretary in the Health Ministry Sonya Roopnauth, Minister Clinton Collymore and PAHO’s representative in Guyana Dr. Bernadette Theodore-Gandi.

Among those making presentations at the workshop are Dr. Luiz Carlos R. Soares, PAHO/WHO Regional Advisor and Dr. Paulo Teixeira, PAHO/WHO Guyana Health and Environment advisor.

Health Minister Dr. Leslie Ramsammy and Town Clerk Beulah Williams are expected to speak at the closing session on Wednesday afternoon.


****My sympathy goes out to the chief constable and her staff whose appeals for help and support from the council and the administration go unheeded. This charge was made at the last statutory meeting by the head of the city police and she was not challenged.

****Last month the attention of city ‘fathers’ and ‘mothers’ attention was drawn to what could only be described as barefaced breaches of the laws by vendors displaying their goods on Regent Street. With the encouragement by some businessmen, clothing is being displayed outside stores and vacant properties with one vendor occupying the pavement selling watches and cell phones.

****Now that you are back at work after a well rested vacation, Mr. City Engineer will you please mobilise your ‘small’ band of building inspectors to focus attention on those new building sites in the city where sand is stored on the council’s reserve and on the streets. Here is another reminder about the pavement outside that Camp Street betting shop... may I ask who is responsible for that damage...?