Basseterre, St. Kitts, January 26, 2019 (SKNIS): The Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) can now increase its efficiency in keeping the Federation clean with the commissioning of three brand Mc Neilus new state-of-the-art 20 cubic yard compactor garbage trucks valued at EC $ 1.5 million that were added to its fleet. The new trucks begin operation on Monday, January 28, 2019.
At the commissioning of the new trucks on January 25, 2019, at the SWMC Headquarters, Minister of Health and the Environment, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton, said that the commissioning of the three trucks is the latest of many projects that in recent years have been unveiled by the SWMC.
“The significance of these new assets on the streets of St. Kitts should not escape us,” he said, but outlined that while it is the responsibility of those who work at the Department of the SWMC to keep the country clean, it is a national responsibility as well for persons to keep their surroundings clean.
In giving the rationale for having more garbage trucks, he said that there are only 11 garbage trucks on the island, which is insufficient for the island with a population of 40,000 people with thousands of businesses and other institutions.
He quoted J.R.D. Tata, who said “Cleanliness is the hallmark of perfect standards and the best quality inspector is the conscience.”
“We have an individual and collective responsibility to maintain a clean national environment,” Minister Hamilton said.
Minister Hamilton noted that upon taking office in 2015, his ministry has been taking strides to restructure the SWMC because it is an essential facet of the national health programme. He said that the government’s mission is to provide for the management of the SWMC in conformity with the best environmental practices.
“The rolling out of these new vehicles can be seen as a small but important part of our overall strategy. It is a strategy to bring this statutory corporation further into the realm of modernity so that it better dispenses its role of mitigating the propagation and spread of disease,” he said.
He also stated that the new organizational structure that is being adapted at SWMC is designed to motivate staff to pursue new lines of commercial enterprise, establish new partnerships and synergies, improve operating procedures, introduce better customer service relations, acquire more reliable assets of collection and increase opportunities for employee upward mobility and rewards.
“The service that we expect to provide will be more efficient, reliable, and bring greater satisfaction not only to those who are working at this corporation but to those whom service is delivered to across this country,” he said.
General Manager of the SWMC, Keithly Phillip, explained some of the features of the new trucks, which include 20 cubic yard compactors that “ensure that they can pick up a good amount of garbage prior to returning to the landfill.” He also said the trucks are rear loading, meaning that they can lift and take bins and load them in the rear of the vehicle. Additionally, the trucks are known for their efficiency and versatility and the controls are in an area that can be easiliy reached by the loaders.
Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory, speaking on behalf of the prime minister, said that the service that the corporation provides is indispensable and stressed the importance of keeping the country clean.
“We must be concerned about keeping our country clean for ourselves,” he said, while stating that it is a health, environmental and beautification issue.
He said that health and waste management is an essential part of life and that the government has placed great focus and priority on ensuring that the environment in St. Kitts and Nevis remains clean and healthy.