The Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) and the St. Vincent Electricity Company Limited (VINLEC) are embarking on a joint initiative to enhance solid waste management on the Grenadine islands.
Due to the uniqueness of the Grenadine Islands, in terms of their small size and vulnerabilities as well as their importance to the tourism sector, special attention is being paid to them in terms of coming up with a more sustainable solution to waste management.
Winsbert Quow, Solid Waste Manager at the CWSA said that currently solid waste on the Grenadine islands are disposed of via landfills on Bequia, Canouan and Union Island, however he says that land filling is not very sustainable.
Speaking at a joint Press conference hosted yesterday by the CWSA and VINLEC, Mr. Quow explained that several years ago a more sustainable option for disposal of solid waste in the Grenadines was proposed, and in order to fund that project the CWSA in 2007 implemented a solid waste collection fee of $10, however the project was stalled due to the low rate of compliance by persons in paying the fee.
The Environmental Health Services Act was amended in 2016, to allow VINLEC to partner with the Solid Waste Management Unit to help recoup more of the fees owed, and while there has been an increased level of compliance, many customers are still non-compliant, resulting in the accumulation of significant amounts of arrears.
Hence, VINLEC will be collaborating even further now with the CWSA by aiding in both the distribution of Solid Waste bills and collection of fees in the Grenadines.
Meanwhile, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the CWSA, Mr. Garth Saunders said that to address the issue of the large sums of arrears, the CWSA has decided that as of January 1, this year, customers in the Grenadines who failed to pay their Solid Waste Fee and thereby accumulated arrears prior to December 31, 2017, will not have their service disconnected.