Kenneth Smith, 62, has lived off Cowpen Road for 13 years.
He told The Nassau Guardian this is the first time, since moving to the area, that he’s had to endure weeks without the collection of his garbage.
“It’s been nearly a month,” Smith said.
“I’ve never had to wait this long. The garbage people they usually come every Sunday but all of a sudden, we don’t see them anymore. We haven’t seen them since Christmas.”
He said he’s becoming increasingly concerned because rodents, maggots and flies have begun to infest his garbage bins.
“You have the raccoons and all come and they go through it,” he said.
“This is unsanitary. Before this, it was great. Every Sunday they would come and pick it up but they don’t come at all and nobody will even say why. I could see if the trucks [broke] down because I know they will fix them, but nothing. I still see trucks daily on the main road picking up garbage but they don’t come my way.”
Smith is not the only resident in the southwestern part of New Providence dealing with this issue.
As he watched the second garbage truck pass the uncollected garbage in front of his house for the day, Shawn Knowles, 26, a father-of-two, said he has not had his garbage collected in three weeks.
“For the past couple Mondays, I haven’t seen them. And as you just saw, the garbage truck just passed us straight,” Knowles said.
“They’ve just stopped coming. I don’t know what’s going on. Since around the Christmas time, they haven’t come to deal with this garbage properly. You know what I mean? It’s ridiculous. I just told my wife just a while ago that it’s ridiculous that the garbage [is] piling up and the trucks are driving past you like the garbage [doesn’t] exist. Something needs to be done.”
Melony McKenzie, the director of the Department of Environmental Health Services, said the backup was the result of a change in the garbage collection route for some employees.
“We would’ve had a changeover in route,” McKenzie said.
“We normally have a great volume of garbage in the Christmas; that’s normal. We would’ve had a changeover of contractors on January 2. Along with the changeover and that buildup of garbage over the Christmas, it took a longer time to collect it.”
Allison Pratt, 31, a resident of Fire Trail Road, whose garbage has not been collected in two weeks, said the department should’ve warned the public of a possible delay before the new year.
“The garbage truck came around earlier and it went to the other side of the road this morning,” Pratt said.
“They passed this side straight. We don’t know what’s going on. If they’re having issues, they should’ve said so. They should’ve gone on the ZNS or something, or the newspapers at least.”
She said the issue has left her frustrated because the dogs in her neighborhood are constantly knocking over the garbage bins and leaving it exposed on the streets.
McKenzie said the department has put in place “twice a week collection” to prevent another mass backup from taking place. It is expected to extend to all areas of New Providence next month.
McKenzie said Killarney and parts of Centreville are the only areas that should be experiencing delays in garbage collection.
But she insisted that the department was working to address the issue by today.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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