Senior Manager for Human Resources and Communications at SWMC, Jamella Christopher.

The Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) is advising the general public to use plastic drums for waste disposal, as it can aid in decreasing the number of challenges faced in regards to waste collection, Senior Manager for Human Resources and Communications at SWMC, Jamella Christopher, said in an appearance on the radio programme “Working for You” Wednesday

“We are asking persons to please use plastic drums with a wide mouth, so it is easier for staff to dump it,” Christopher said. 

She said a frequent challenge to collection is heavy drums that have collected water becoming much heavier for the SWMC staff to lift and properly empty. 

“We advocate that you penetrate the bottom of the drum so that it can leak,” she said. 

SWMC does not want to leave residents’ waste behind, however, she said they would be forced to do so if the waste or the waste disposal methods do not meet SWMC standards.

Residents Urged to Sort Household Waste Before Dumping

The leadership of the SWMC is also appealing to the public to sort waste properly before disposing of it in garbage receptacles.

Garbage should be grouped and clearly labelled, where necessary, to help warn sanitation workers of hazards posed by medical waste, biodegradable waste, hazardous waste and and the like. Medical waste may include needles, for example, that increases the risk of workers that have to collect them.

“Persons are sometimes very dishonest … and they would pack the waste inside [bins] forcing our staff to literally put their hands inside not knowing what rodents are there so we are asking persons to please use plastic drums with wide mouths so it is easier for the staff to dump it,” Christopher explained.

The public is reminded that items such as car batteries, laptops, appliances, mattresses, construction materials, tree branches, grass and leaves, and the like, do not fall under the category of household waste and will not be collected by sanitation workers. Private arrangements must be made to deliver those items to the landfill at Conaree.

“We are responsible for household waste; people disguise their waste at the bottom and so our staff do not know [what’s there] and so it is really, really hectic on them to collect that waste,” the SWMC official added. “We do not want to leave people’s waste behind however if it is not the waste we are collecting we will have no other choice but to move on.