By NEIL HARTNELL
Tribune Business Editor
The Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) says it has hired Abaco based J&G Pavers to manage the Green Turtle Cay debris management site.
The DRA, in a statement, said the company’s primary goal is to construct a modern transfer waste station on the cay. It will prioritise the use and rental of equipment already based in Abaco, hire Green Turtle Cay residents and always use the cay’s resources.
J&G Pavers, which began working on the project on May 4 by mobilising staff, equipment and the necessary resources to transport to Green Turtle Cay, started the official project six days later. It also plans to introduce wood recycling, donate a new trash collection vehicle to the Department of Environmental Health, beautify the grounds surrounding the facility and maintain security.
Workers semi-sorted the waste and used equipment to remove debris that spilled on to the road. The company also launched a non-toxic spraying programme comprised of all-natural Neem, citronella and rosemary oils, and reduced the number of flies at the site.
J&G Pavers erected a temporary barge ramp and piles to access the Cay. This facilitated transporting debris and garbage through the cay without impacting operations at the nearby Green Turtle Cay Club. It also enabled hauling and barging to take place for 12 to 14 hours a day, speeding up the entire process. The DRA said something that would usually take eight to nine weeks was completed in just two.
To further expedite the project, J&G Pavers used four to six roll-off trucks - instead of the usual two - between Green Turtle Cay and mainland Abaco, while tripling the amount of equipment and labourers.
One resident said: “You could see the big change. The front looks good. There is now grass where grass never was seen before, there’s no smoke from the constant burning and I like how they are crushing it up in pieces rather than whole. The locals could see what’s going on and we appreciate that.”
Julie Farrington, property manager and fire department volunteer, said: “Before this, it was really bad. The worst thing was seeing all the trash that kept blowing across the street and it was everywhere and very dangerous for vehicles.
“Right now, it looks so much better when you pass. It’s amazingly different and it looks really nice. The people there couldn’t be nicer. They even helped me wash my golf cart that I used to transport my trash.”
Sarah Sams, Pineapples restaurant owner and lifelong Green Turtle Cay resident, said: “Burning at the dump was going on since I was a child. The trash smells and was burned weekly near a harbour, resorts and lots of homes that were not safe.
“Now, the new group is doing a good job and there seems to be an improvement. As a small nation, we need to find more smarter and sustainable ways to manage garbage in the future by getting guidance, ideas and financing ideas so we can be a nation that sets an example for change.”
Katherine Smith, the DRA’s managing director, said: “If J&G Pavers continues phases one, two and three of this project, I think Green Turtle Cay residents will be very satisfied with the work that has been put in to eliminate the island’s debris and municipal waste.
“While there is a lot of work to be done, J&G Pavers has committed to working with the community to achieve their goal. This isn’t an easy fix as there is a lot of debris from Dorian, and a lot of legacy waste that has been on the cay for quite some time, so there’s still much more work to complete.”