BASSETERRE, St. Kitts –- Three new state-of-the-art Angelus 20-cubic-yard compactor garbage trucks, valued at EC $1.5 million have been commissioned Solid Waste Management Corporation’s (SWMC) fleet to increase its efficiency in keeping the Federation clean.
Minister of Health and the Environment, the Honourable Eugene Hamilton commissioned the trucks during a Jan. 25 ribbon-cutting ceremony at the SWMC Headquarters. During the ceremony, Minister Hamilton said adding three trucks to the SWMC fleet is the latest of many projects unveiled by the firm in recent years.
“The significance of these new assets on the streets of St. Kitts should not escape us,” said Hamilton. “While it is the responsibility of SWMC to keep the country clean, it is a national responsibility for everyone to keep their surroundings clean.
“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, explained Hamilton. 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,” said Hamilton. “Upon taking office in 2015, strides have been taken to restructure SWMC because it is an essential facet of the national health programme. 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.”
Hamilton said SWMC’s new organizational structure is designed to motivate its staff.
Their goals will be, “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 to those working at this corporation and to those whom service is delivered to across this country,” Hamilton explained.
“Some of the features of the new trucks are 20-cubic-yard compactors ensuring they can pick up more garbage prior to returning to the landfill,” SWMC General Manager, Keithly Phillip explained. The trucks are rear loading, they can lift bins and load them into the rear of the vehicle. Additionally, the trucks are efficient and versatile; their controls are in an area that can be easily reached by the loaders.”
Senior Minister, the Honourable Vance Amory, spoke on behalf of the prime minister, saying SWMC provides indispensable service, while stressing how important it is to keep the country clean.
“We must be concerned about keeping our country clean for ourselves,” said Amory. “It is a health, environmental and beautification issue.
Health and waste management is an essential part of life,” Amory concluded. “The government has placed great focus and priority on ensuring that the environment in St. Kitts and Nevis remains clean and healthy.”