Garbage pile-up causes traffic nightmare at Stabroek Market

A large pile-up of garbage in the vicinity of the Stabroek Market caused traffic chaos on Saturday as both commuters and vehicles tried to navigate the filthy area.
The specific area, which was set aside for waste collection, was overflowing with refuse, mainly comprising of used cardboard boxes, rice bags filled with used plastic bottles and buckets, among other items.
The odour of the garbage dump stretched some distance away as the week’s garbage from the market was left unattended by City Hall and its garbage collectors.
Market waste, according to vendors, was not collected during the week causing the major pile-up.
The garbage scattered over to the road, blocking an entire traffic lane. Drivers were forced to reverse on the one-way lane and take another route out of the congested area.
Luckily, vendors were kind enough and assisted drivers in this process to avoid further confusion. But with this major garbage crisis affecting hundreds, the Mayor and City Council’s (M&CC’s), Solid Waste Management Director, Walter Narine, was unreachable. Calls to his mobile went unanswered while the Public Relations Officer at City Hall, Debra Lewis, was also unreachable.
When contacted and asked for a comment on the situation, Mayor Ubraj Narine explained to Guyana Times that contractors were deployed to have the area cleared.
Narine said he was not sure what led to the situation becoming so uncontainable, but claimed that there has been a recent upsurge in waste collection. According to him, this has been posing a major challenge to City Hall given that 50 to 60 per cent of its revenue goes towards waste collection.
On this note, he said that the agency plans to have another compactor placed in the area but this will cost an additional $35,000. Against this backdrop, Narine appealed to residents to be more responsible in the disposal of their waste. In fact, the Mayor even encouraged composting, which simply means using biodegradable materials such as vegetable skins and others to make a heap or apply as manure for plants.
This will decrease the amount of waste being collected and lodged at dumpsites which ultimately poses a threat to the environment.
On the other hand, Narine noted that this situation is not one which is unfamiliar to other parts of the capital city. According to him, hundreds of thousands is usually spent to have various sections of Georgetown cleared, especially Regent Street, a commercial area.
In fact, the Mayor said that he is still awaiting a meeting with the Private Sector Commission (PSC) on this matter. He added that the situation has been less worrying since M&CC established a relationship with the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI).
Back in April of this year, a similar situation plagued the Stabroek Market area.