Basseterre, St. Kitts, August 21, 2019 (SKNIS): Sanitation workers at the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) have been saluted for diligently carrying out the vital role of helping to keep the country clean, and top officials at the SWMC are encouraging the general public to recognize and appreciate their service.
“I’ve asked persons to treat our staff with the respect and dignity that they would want to be treated with,” SWMC General Manager, Ivor Keithley Phillip, said on Wednesday’s (August 21, 2019) edition of the ‘Working for You’ television and radio programme.
Mr. Phillip said that while persons are keen to pay their power bills because they enjoy electricity and their cable bills so that they can watch their favourite television shows, it would be a major problem if they were asked to pay for garbage collection.
“Let us leave their waste for two weeks and that changes the conversation,” he expressed, noting that the effects would be disastrous.
It was stated that collecting garbage is very challenging and there is a prevailing stigma associated with persons that perform the job. Jamella Christopher, Senior Manager of Human Resource and Communications, said that the conduct of sanitation workers who collect garbage on the trucks has vastly improved.
“We are a staff that is passionate,” she stated, applauding the dedication on the part of the workers to collect garbage. To protect the health of the men and women, Ms. Christopher said that several measures have been put in place.
“We have made our job a task job and so no worker is behind a truck for a continuous eight hours,” she indicated. “They have a specific area [to complete] and that is why you would see our men [working] vigorously and in a rush because they know they have a job to get done.”
Ms. Christopher noted that sanitation workers were also equipped with safety vests, back braces, hard hats, and appropriate work boots. When necessary, the garbage collectors are also given injections at health centres to ensure they are protected from illness.
SWMC Manager Phillip encouraged residents to manage their waste disposal by ensuring that waste is properly sorted and safely packaged before depositing in garbage bins.