By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
BIMINI residents are complaining that a proliferation of flies and unpleasant odour have overtaken their small community due to the improper handling of solid waste collection and disposal on that island.
According to a resident, garbage is being loaded and stockpiled onto a barge, which remains in Alice Town unattended for a week before transfer to a dumpsite on South Bimini.
Residents claim that garbage is not being collected and transferred on a daily basis, as it should be, but rather once a week. They think this is creating a health problem on the island.
“Flies are overtaking Bimini and persons can smell the garbage all the way to downtown,” said the resident, who did not want to be identified.
It is alleged that the person awarded the contract for garbage collection and disposal lacks the proper equipment required for the proper disposal of solid waste.
“The individual does not have the proper equipment, and the way it (garbage collection and disposal) is being done is not the proper way,” said the resident. “They (are) loading it on a truck and dumping it on the barge, which leaves once a week to South Bimini.”
The resident also claimed that when the barge arrives in South Bimini, solid waste is not taken to proper dumpsite/landfill.
“It is being dumped onto someone’s property because the contractor does not have the proper equipment, such as a D8 tractor to properly remove and transport the garbage to the dumpsite,” the resident claimed.
According to the resident, the manner in which garbage is collected and disposed of in Bimini is not in keeping with proper protocols by the department of environmental health services.
The Tribune contacted DEHS in Bimini, but was advised to speak with Melanie McKenzie or Carlton Smith at the department in New Providence. This newspaper was told that Mr Smith was out of office and that Ms McKenzie was in a meeting.
Meanwhile, the resident said that there is a health concern on the island.
“Garbage is supposed to be picked up everyday, except Sunday. The barge remains on the island for a full week and it is about 60 feet away from the Straw Market.
“We are infested by flies; you can’t eat anything outside. It is also a problem for conch vendors who prepare conch salad for tourists and locals. And the smell is awful – you can smell the odour of garbage coming through downtown,” the resident said.