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Landfill coalition must wait for election

Four leading disposal companies have come to an accord and will form a coalition in an effort to take over management of Nassau’s landfill.

While the current government has accepted the move in principle, official decisions will not be made until after the election.

Virginia McKinney, the president of Waste Not, told Guardian Business that Bahamas Waste, United Sanitation and Impac Waste Disposal will join forces and take garbage collection and containment in New Providence in a new direction.

“The way the four companies would function is running the landfill as a group,” she said. “After the election, we’ll be ready to straight  away put it in front of them. We are a united group and it must be implemented as quickly as possible.”

McKinney added that the FNM “said they will do it, but not before the election”.

Last month, Guardian Business reported that a proposal to manage the landfill had been drafted and would be presented to the government. According to leading garbage collection companies in The Bahamas, the Nassau landfill is overflowing and has not been brought up to code.

The current state may have health risks for not only residents in the immediate area, but the entire island down the road.

Part of the action plan would be to impose a general tax to take care of road maintenance, excavation and bringing in new equipment.

In a previous interview, McKinney said “we need to pay for this service”, referring common practice in other developed countries.

She explained that the coalition will take the time between now and the end of the election to further discuss the designation of duties and work out the logistics. It also welcomes government involvement in this process.

None of the four key stakeholders would be “in charge” of the landfill, McKinney said, and instead a team would manage the site completely separate from the other entities.

“We would bring all of our expertise to bear and select a foreign manager to start with, and have bahamians in training and bring it along like that. Now we’ll have our time to work it through. We are trying to make a viable business out of the situation.”

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