SWSA final document - BVSDE - PAHO/WHO

bvsde.ops.oms.org

SWSA final document - BVSDE - PAHO/WHO

Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

1. GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS OF THE COUNTRY

1.1 Political and Administrative Divisions

Guyana which has an area of 215,000 square kilometres became

independent in 1966. Under the Local Democratic Organs Act of 1980 Guyana

was divided into ten administrative regions, each with a local democratic organ

known as the Regional Democratic Council. The primary duty of these Regional

Councils is to ensure efficient management and development of the region. Each

Region elects one of its members to serve at the National Assembly and two

members to the National of Local Democratic Organs.

The 1980 Constitution identified the following level of government:

• Supreme Congress of the People

• Parliament

• National Congress of Local Democratic Organs

• Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs)

• People’s Cooperative Units

The decision to hold local government elections gave rise to the

introduction of the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils with demarcation of 129

areas into which were absorbed the previous Village Councils, District Councils

and County Authorities. In 1994 general elections were held, and in order to give

way to the impetus of strengthening of local governments, was given a concrete

support by a Ministerial Circular giving Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs)

powers of supervision over the NDCs.

The present local government structure consists of 10 RDCs, 65 NDCs, 6

Municipalities and 76 Amerindian Village Councils. The Constitutional reform in

2000 abolitioned the Supreme Congress and the National Congress of Local

Organs. Although the Law requires that local elections be held every two years,

the National Government has not always been able to make that possible.

The Country is integrated by two main roads, one in the coast paved

mostly but not continuous because of ferry crossings at rivers, and one north-

South that starts in Georgetown and ends at the border with Brazil.

The two main utilities in Guyana that provide electricity and

communications are privately owned and the majority of shares are held by

foreign companies. Water and sewerage have also been recently privatized.

Private companies also have been working for some ten years in the solid waste

management services in Georgetown.

1


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Privatization of public enterprises began in 1989. All public enterprises are

marked for privatization with the exception of three; GUYSUCO (sugar), GUYOIL

(oil) and GNSC (shipping). The rules of the privatization process give the

government majority shares and 10% is reserved for acquisition by employees.

1.2 Population

The population of Guyana is a multi-ethnic mixture: 49% East Indians, 32%

of Afro Caribbean, 6% Amerindian. In 2001 the population was estimated to be

about 780,000 with a density of 3,6 persons per square kilometre. However,

about 90 percent of the country’s population lives in the coastal zone, which

comprises only about 7.5 percent of its total land area.

Due to diminishing international markets and the general economic crises

of the 80s in Guyana, there was a population decrease due to emigration (see

Table 1.1). Predictions made by ECLAC indicate a almost an equilibrium

between growth and emigration to other countries for the next 20 years.

From the solid waste management point of view the main interest is the

population living in urban clusters that require solid waste services. That

population according to ECLAC, will be approximately 295,000 by the year 2004

and 330,000 by the year 2014. This urban population is to be included in the

future National Solid Waste Plan.

Table 1.1 Population growth in Guyana ( ECLAC ref 1.3)

Year

Population

Urban pop

% Urban(*)

(x1000)

(x1000)

1980 761

1985 754 31.8 240

1990 731 33.2 243

1996 746 34.5 257

1997 750

1998 754

1999 757

2000 761 36.3 276

2001 763

2002 765

2005 768 38.5 296

2010 763 41.0 312

2015 749 44.0 330

(*) there is no a common definition on “urban”

2


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 1.2 Urban centres

REGION

TOTAL

POPUL

ATION

MUNICIP

ALITY

(name)

URBAN

POPULA

TION


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

1.3 Economic Activities and Socioeconomic Indicators

The main economic activities in Guyana are agriculture (rice) and industry

(mining, sugar, timber). Mining concentrates mainly on bauxite and gold.

Historically, gold production has almost exclusively come from alluvial and fluvial

deposits. More recently however, the large open pit at Omai Gold Mines Ltd. has

considerably increased the country’s gold production. Indeed, while gold

declaration from local producers has been maintained at approximately 110,000

ounces per year, Omai produces, on average, approximately 300,000 ounces per

year. Gold continues to be Guyana’s highest value export commodity.

In the sugar industry the “Guyana Sugar Corporation” (Guysuco) is the

largest y and biggest earner of foreign exchange in Guyana. Nationalized in

1976 it operates eight sugar factories. The total industry work force is about

twenty-one thousand (21,000). More than 90% of them work in the sugar

cultivation where the sugar cane is still harvested manually. On all locations

transportation of cane to the factories is carried out by water transport. The

average size of an estate is approximately 20,500 acres, with Albion which

occupies 28,166 acres being the largest and Wales with 14,232 acres being the

smallest. Current total production hovers around 300,000 tons sugar annually.

The rice industry is the second most important agricultural industry in

Guyana, second to sugar in terms of foreign exchange earnings. Rice is the

largest user of agricultural lands, (some 80,000 hectares being currently double

cropped) and absorbs and influences to more of the working population than any

other industry in Guyana. About 12,000 farmers are involved in the production

and the industry supports at least 10 percent of Guyana’s population directly and

many more indirectly. It is the major source of income and employment in rural

areas. In addition, the industry contributes approximately 20 percent of the

agricultural GDP and 12 percent of the export earnings. Production is in the

hands of both small and large farmers, with holdings varying from less than 10

acres to over 1,000 acres.

Timber industry is of great potential if managed in an ecological and

sustainable manner. About 168,000 km 2 , or more than 75% of Guyana’s total

land area, are forested. The forest industries sub-sector comprises mainly

logging and sawmilling operations. These enterprises may be divided into two

groups: the low capital, labour-intensive activity of small entrepreneurs who sell

logs to saw-millers, and the medium- to large-scale, capital-intensive logging

operations. There are at least five other large, timber operations that conform to

standards of selective logging. Some 300 licensed small-scale and 2,000

freelance and unlicensed loggers are reported to operate in various timber

bearing areas.

The gross domestic product per capita in Guyana is shown in table 1.3 and it

very much reflects the very grave economic crisis of the 80s, the rapid

4


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

recuperation at the beginning of the 90s and the stagnation that started by the

end of that same decade.

Table 1.3 Evolution of the GDP per capita

at constant prices (ref 1.3)

Year

GDP per Capita

(in US$)

Constant

1990 prices

Constant 1995

Prices

1980 629

1985 507

1990 480 434

1994 622

1995 642

1996 687

1997 729

1998 709

1999 741

2000 721

2001 735

From the mid 70s to the final years of the 80s internal and external

economic pressures led to a decrease in the GDP and a drastic decline of in the

per capita income. As the economic difficulties mounted the country was unable

to meet debt service obligations leading to the cessation of support from the

international financial institutions. The crises led to an increase in poverty and

migration to other countries.

To arrest the social and economic conditions the government introduced

drastic changes in 1989-1992 that liberalised the economy, removed price

subsidies, modernised taxation and reformed the financial sector. As a result the

economy started to grow at a rate of 7% a year. Despite the rapid growth,

Guyana remains one of the poorest countries in the Western Hemisphere. The

per capita GDP of Guyana ($735 in 2001) was the lowest in the Caribbean and

the third lowest of the Continent only surpassed by Haiti ($425) and Honduras

($709). It was also well bellow the average GDP of the Americas of $3,853 for

that year.

In 1993 over 43% of the population lived under the poverty line and 29%

under the extreme poverty limit (ref 2.2). By 1999 economic growth had lowered

these figures to 35% and 19%.

Even though the income is low, Guyana does not rate bad regarding the

Human Development Indicators of the United Nations (ref. 1.4) that combine into

5


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

one indicator the GDP, literacy and school attendance, and life expectancy.

Guyana ranks among the “Medium Human Development” countries with an index

of 0.740 well above Haiti (0.467) and also above Grenada, Dominican Republic,

Ecuador, El Salvador, Bolivia, Honduras and Nicaragua. This speaks highly of

the Guyanese educational system, which unfortunately seems to be

deteriorating.

1.4 Physical and Environmental Aspects

Guyana is located on the northern coast of South America, and is the only

English–speaking country. It is bordered on the north by the Atlantic Ocean, on

the east by Suriname, on the south and southwest by Brazil, and on the west and

northwest by Venezuela. The country consists of four types of landforms. The

most important is the flat coastal clay belt where most of the population lives and

most of the agricultural activity take place. This coastal area is protected by sea

defences as it lies below sea level. The other main landforms are a sand belt

which includes savannahs, a central undulating land with a tropical forest that

comprises about half of the area of the country and finally there are the highlands

and mountain range.

Guyana lies totally in the tropics and possesses and equatorial climate that

is characterized by a seasonal rainfall with highs in May to June and November

to January. The yearly average rainfall in the coastal area, in the last 20 years

varied from 1,700 to 2,900 mm. This large quantity of rainfall has to be

considered when planning and designing the disposal of solid wastes.

For several reasons Guyana is especially vulnerable to environmental

pressures. First, more than 75 percent of the country’s land area is covered by

forests, many of the ecosystems of which are inherently fragile, and therefore

liable to react adversely to interventions which alter their ecological balance.

Second, about 90 percent of the country’s population live on a narrow coastal

belt which is not too small in area for them, but which lies below sea level. As a

result the space in which they exist is not only cramped and infelicitous, and

therefore prone to a large number of specific sanitary and environmental

difficulties, it is continuously threatened by inundations from the Atlantic Ocean

and the rivers which bring with them the difficulties caused by flooding, the

deposition of silt and erosion. Third, almost the entire economy is dependent

upon coastal agriculture and upon the exploitation of the country’s forest wealth

and minerals. This means that the normal economic activity of the ordinary

Guyanese constitutes a continuous threat to the fragile environment. And fourth,

Guyana is a poor country and Its citizens might therefore not only find it difficult

to resist the temptation to over-exploit its natural resources but also not to repair

any damage which might occur as a result of such over-exploitation.

6


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The most common examples of resource contamination in Guyana are

associated with water pollution from mercury, cyanide and other chemical wastes

through mining; untreated human and animal wastes; and agricultural and

industrial wastes. However, air pollution is also a public health concern,

particularly in areas such as Linden, where suspended mineral particles have

been implicated in certain human respiratory disorders.

The environmental problems in the coastal zone in Guyana are intimately

linked to activities associated with human settlement and, as has been indicated,

with specific effects that are related to population concentration and economic

activity. These include waste generation – solid, liquid, gaseous, chemical, heat,

etc.; flooding from the increased run-off caused by the replacement of natural

vegetation by built structures; and coastal erosion aggravated by various types of

engineered structures and by activities such as sand-mining.

1.5 Health Aspects

In Guyana the leading causes of mortality for children under the age of one

are: certain conditions originating in the prenatal period (46.9%); intestinal

infectious diseases (15.6%); congenital anomalies (10.4%); diseases of the

respiratory system (6.7%); nutritional deficiencies (5.8%); bacterial diseases

(4.0%); diseases of the blood and the blood-forming organs (2.0%); endocrine

and metabolic disease immunity disorders (1.8%); accidents (1.6%); and

diseases of the nervous system (1.1%).

The leading causes of mortality for all age groups are cerebrovascular

diseases (11.6%); ischemic heart disease (9.9%); immunity disorders (7.1%);

diseases of the respiratory system (6.8%); diseases of pulmonary circulation and

other forms of heart disease (6.6%); endocrine and metabolic diseases (5.5%);

diseases of other parts of the Digestive System (5.2%); violence (5.1%);

conditions originating in the prenatal period (4.3%); and hypertensive diseases

(3.9%).

The picture with regard to morbidity patterns differ. The ten leading causes of

morbidity for all age groups are, in decreasing order: malaria; acute respiratory

infections; symptoms, signs and ill defined or unknown conditions; hypertension;

accident and injuries; acute diarrhoeal disease; diabetes mellitus; worm

infestation; rheumatic arthritis; and mental and nervous disorders.

7


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2. THE SOLID WASTE SECTOR

2.1 Sectoral Policies, Plans and Strategies

Based on a new heath policy Guyana developed a National Health Plan

2003-2007 which include the modernization of the sector and strategies to

promote health for all citizens. On the other hand The National Development

Strategy (2001-2010) has the objectives to attain the highest possible growth

rates, eliminate poverty, and achieves geographical unity and an equitable

geographical distribution of economic development and to diversify the economy.

Several other policies are related which environmental degradation, poor

sanitation, public health risks and negative impacts which have resulted from

improper and ineffective integrated waste management strategies. However no

effective record keeping and statistical data on solid waste generated by

domestic, commercial, industrial, medical, agricultural, sea or air transportation

are available. Indeed there is no national policy or strategy to effectively deal with

integrated waste management. Poor public health and safety compliance and

enforcement mechanisms associated with waste management are other issues.

The Country now is facing the challenge to develop and implement a

national policy, legal and institutional framework and strategies on integrated

solid waste management. Doing that will require to develop and promote data

collection on waste generated from imports, domestic, industrial, commercial,

agricultural, medical, transportation, construction, production and consumption

patterns. Also identify financial resources to sustain the implementation of

programmes dealing with integrated waste management and promoting and

encouraging private sector investment initiatives in waste management will be

fundamental.

The management of solid waste is decisively an important environmental

topic but just as important it is also an administrative and financial problem. So

even if EPA and the MoH have an understanding to share the responsibility for

the environmental and public health aspects, the Ministry of Local Government

and Regional Development has been given the responsibility for the formulation

of the national policy on solid waste management in Guyana. A draft policy

document has been drawn by these agencies that complemented by the policies

proposed in this sectoral analysis should produce a final document in the near

future.

The NDC’s and the Municipalities have the responsibility for the

establishment and implementation of local policies and for the provision of the

solid waste service. This has been largely limited to the City of Georgetown and

to a leeser degree in other municipalities and a handful of NDCs.

8


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

This actual situation of SWM in the country reflects the absence of any

coordinated plan or programme for the effective services at the national level.

The workshops and meetings that took place to develop the “Evaluation of SWM

in Guyana” concluded that the lack of information was formidable and the strong

necessity to establish a data base on which a more informed analysis could be

made.

2.2 Institutional Framework

The main responsibilities for solid waste management in Guyana lie with

Municipalities and several governmental ministries. This chapter seeks to

describe the main roles and responsibilities of the Ministries and various

agencies. It will also describe several policies and projects that directly or

indirectly impact on the sector.

Figure 2.2.1 represents the Agencies and Key Players involved in, or

related to, the Solid Waste Management Services in Guyana.

At present there are a number of Institutions that have some functional

responsibilities for solid waste management. The following sections will highlight

them and briefly describe their roles and responsibilities.

2.2.1 The Main Organizations

The Central Government is responsible for the development of macrostrategies

for national development. In the Government’s National Development

Strategy (2001 – 2010) some issues can be identified addressing “solid waste”

either directly or indirectly. The main organizations of the sector are:

Ministry of Health

This Ministry is responsible for the national policies on sanitation and

health and provides technical advice to the municipalities and administrative

centres regarding waste management. This is done through the Environmental

Health Units, which are each given responsibility for a number of public health

districts. Their main functions are to provide technical guidance to the

municipalities, manufacturers and individual householders regarding the best

method of waste management appropriate for their localities and types of waste.

The environmental health officers are responsible for approving sanitary facilities

(septic tanks and on-site disposal facilities). The Ministry has a signed

Memorandum of Understanding (M.O.U.) with the EPA to handle matters

pertaining to environmental health.

9


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

There is an Environmental Health Unit of this Ministry located in Greater

Georgetown. There are sixty-six (66) people employed there. These include the

Unit Head and forty two (42) Assistants who are working to provide assistance to

the Officers. The Environmental Health Officers are responsible for inspections of

various facilities, address complaints and can charge under the Public Health

Ordinance, Chapter 5, 1934.

There has been some decentralisation of this function and as a result

there are environmental health sections within three (3) Municipalities. These

are Georgetown, New Amsterdam and Linden. The other Municipalities are

served by the central Unit.

Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

This Ministry is charged with the responsibility for the establishment of national

policies and financial support for solid waste management. This Ministry

subsidises the Municipalities and Neighbourhood Democratic Centres (NDC’s)

and oversees the work of the ten (10) Regional Administrative Centres. There

are fifty (50) persons employed with this Ministry. The Ministry executes some

international projects like the Guyana Municipal Governance and Management

CIDA Project (2001, Ref 2.7). Figure 2.2.2 depicts the organisational structure

of the Ministry.

The Environmental Protection Agency

This Agency was formed in 1996 under the Environment Protection Act

(1996) and currently reports to the Office of the President. It has the

responsibility for establishing regulatory frameworks and enforcement for the

reduction of litter and the discharge of waste generation development of design

criteria for the construction, operation, maintenance and monitoring of facilities

for the control of pollution and the disposal of waste governing the location and

classes of disposal sites. EPA also is the agency in charge of governing and

regulating the management of waste and prescribing standards for waste

management systems and permitting permission for landfill sites, incinerators

etc. Public awareness and education programmes and the dissemination of

information have been produced to enhance effective waste management

practices.

EPA produced a proposal of a National Environment Policy which is yet to be

passed at the parliamentary level and a National Environmental Action Plan for

2001 – 2005 (Ref 2.5) that was produced in collaboration with major stakeholders

in Guyana. One of the divisions of EPA is the Environmental Management

Division which is subdivided into three areas: i) industry, infrastructure and

energy; ii) mining, forestry and tourism, iii) agriculture and fisheries. The

10


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

personnel of the first area work with SWM projects. At present they are working

with several NDCs on the development of pilot projects where they provide

technical and environmental advice. There are three (3) persons in this subsection.

Figure 2.2.1 Major agencies involved in solid waste management in

Guyana

Presidency

Ministry of

Housing &

Water

Ministry of

Education

Environment

Protection

Agency

Ministry of

Health

Ministry of Local

Government &

Regional

Development

Environmental

Health Unit

Municipalities

NDCs

Central Housing

and Planning

Authority

Drainage and

Irrigation Board

Private

Contractors

Cleansing

Sections

Key

Direct Responsibility

Inter Agency Co-ordination

11


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Ministry Public Works & Communication

This Ministry is responsible for drains, roads, bridges. It has an

environmental unit and works closely with the EPA.

Ministry of Finance

This Ministry is responsible for the development of the annual budgets

based on submissions by the various ministries. The MoLGRD informs each

Municipality and Administrative Centre about how much money they can apply

for and what the national priorities are. The Ministry of Finance gives the final

approval. They also manage the environmental levy that is placed on imported

plastic food and drink containers. This levy however, is not directed to solid

waste management.

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

There is an office in this Ministry that deals with environmental issues.

They perform research into all international treaties, protocols, conventions etc

and make recommendations. The final signatory to these (eg MARPOL) is the

Minister of Foreign Affairs.

Ministry of Housing and Water

This Ministry is responsible for housing developments. When planning a

development, they have to ensure that environmental considerations including

solid waste management are made and that an environmental impact

assessment is done. The Ministry is the head of the sector for the following

autonomous agencies such as: the Guyana Water Inc. (which operates the main

sewerage system in Georgetown and is responsible for the cleaning and

maintenance of sewerage stations, as well as repairs and maintenance of water

mains on the roads) the Central Housing and Planning Authority (which deals

with land use issues for state lands and the Lands and Surveys Commission

(which has the overall responsibility for land use and deals with leases).

Ministry of Education

This Ministry is responsible for the development of the curricula for

primary and secondary schools. Based on their strategic plan and other

requests, the curricula can include environmental education.

12


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Commerce

The Ministry is the head of the Guyana Tourism Authority, formed in

2002, which should establish the national policy on this matter and provides

licences to persons who wish to operate a tourism business according with EPA

criteria and procedures. They also manage tourism campaigns such as “War on

Bad Manners” (October 2003). It is expected that this will also focus on

cleanliness and beautification.

Ministry of Agriculture

The Ministry conducts many adult extension training programmes for

farmers. Part of the training includes waste disposal for their chemicals and

containers.

National NGOs

The most important NGO in the sector is the Guyana Advisory Solid

Waste Management Association (GASWMA). Other NGOs like the consumer

associations are important but they touch solid waste only at specific times and

places as issues arise.

2.2.2 Other Agencies Involved in SWM

Transport and Harbours Department

Guyana is signatory to the MARPOL Convention. This calls for the

development of local regulations and the corresponding facilities to adequately

handle waste collection and disposal for ship generated waste.

Civil Aviation Authority

Aircraft waste is burnt in Georgetown. It is handled by a private

contractor. All other types of waste are disposed of at a site close to the Cheddi

Jagan International Airport.

Bureau of Standards

The Bureau is responsible for development of national standards. They

will work in association with the EPA to develop environmental standards.

Customs

13


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

They are responsible for inspection of all goods entering Guyana. They

will make a determination based on applicable local standards.

University of Guyana

This University administers degrees in Environmental Science and

Engineering. Guyanese students can also access courses at the University of

the West Indies in Trinidad, Barbados and Jamaica.

Pesticides and Toxic Chemicals Control Board

This board is responsible for describing the prescribed manner in which

pesticides and toxic chemicals are disposed.

Guyana Police Force

The Police Force of Guyana can charge any persons who commit a

criminal offence. These offences include anything that constitutes a common

nuisance, affects the health of the public and littering/dumping.

GuyberNet

This is a Sustainable Development Information Training Centre formed in

1996. It is a facility designed to educate the public about Agenda 21 and other

important global issues through the use of information technology and

educational programmes. The main recipients of such training are the youth.

Interagency Cooperation

There is an inter-agency Technical Committee that includes the EPA,

Ministry of Housing and Planning amongst others. The committee deals with

specific issues when they arise and handles matters such as development, land

use issues and complaints. Also, as mentioned before, there is an M.O.U.

between the EPA and the MoH to handle matters relating to environmental

health. Figure 2.2.1 depicts some of these relationships.

Regional Governments

The Local Government Structure in Guyana is governed by the Ministry of

Local Government and Regional Development. The Local Authorities, which are

under the Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDC’s), take the responsibility

for the collection and disposal of solid waste.

14


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

In Guyana there are ten (10) Administrative Regions, six (6) Municipalities,

and one hundred and twenty nine (129) statutorily established Neighbourhood

Democratic Councils (NDCs). These were legally established in 1980 to replace

all previously existing forms of local authorities, such as villages, country and

rural districts. These Regional Democratic Councils (RDCs) are administratively

responsible for all services to their populations.

At the present time sixty-five (65) of the one hundred and twenty-nine

(129) NDCs have been brought into operation. The following table gives some

more information about the Regional Administrative Centres.

Table 2.2.1 Population by Regions

REGION ADMINISTRATIVE CENTRE POPULATION

(each region has one chairman and

a regional executive officer)

1 Mabaruma 18,755

2 Pomeroon-Supernaam 43,149

3 Essequibo Islands-West Demerara 92,139

4 Demerara-Mahaica 299,800

5 Mahaica-West Berbice 49,937

6 East Berbice – Corentyne 144,177

7 Cuyuni-Mazaruni 15,478

8 Potaro-Siparuni 5,788

9 Upper Takatu-Upper Essequibo 15,221

10 Upper Demerara-Berbice 39,453

Total country population (2001) 723,897

The Municipalities operate independently of the Regional Administrations

even though the latter may be sited in their towns. They both, however, report to

the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.

2.2.3 Municipalities

The municipalities were established under the Municipal and District

Councils Act of 1969, which officially converted the capital Georgetown from a

town to a city, and created the new towns of Anna Regina, Corriverton, Rose

Hall, and Linden. New Amsterdam, like Georgetown, was already a Town.

Under this act, Municipalities are empowered to raise their own revenues through

the implementation of fees, taxes or tariffs as they deem appropriate.

The six (6) municipalities are responsible for the collection, transportation

and disposal of municipal solid waste and for the cleanliness of streets and public

15


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

spaces, water supply, environmental health, street paving, markets, abattoirs and

recreational facilities maintenance. The Constabulary monitor and enforce

municipal offences including littering and dumping. Figure 2.2.3 shows the

organisational structure of a typical Municipality. Any variances for Georgetown

are noted.

With the exception of Georgetown the other five Municipalities have very

limited facilities for dealing with solid waste. All five (5) towns (Municipalities)

have open dumps.

The following table illustrates the current institutional arrangements the

SWM services provided by the various municipalities and one NDC. Some

qualitative information is shown in table 2.2.2 bellow.

Table 2.2.2 Services provided by the Municipalities and one NDC

Anna

Regina

Corriv

erton

George

town

Lin

den

New

Amsterdam

Rose

Hall

Bv/

Triumph

SWM section N Y Y Y Y Y N

Solid Waste Budget N Y Y Y Y Y Y

Collection Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

Municipality - 100% 5% 80% 70% 100% 100%

Private Contractor 0% 0% 95% 0% 30% - -

Sleeping N Y Y Y Y Y Y

Clearing N Y Y Y Y Y Y

Recycling N N N N N N N

Segregation N N N N N N N

Disposal Y Y Y Y Y Y Y

a) Georgetown (Region 4)

The correct name is in fact Greater Georgetown, which it became in the

1970’s when Old’ Georgetown expanded east and south.

Situated on the East Bank at the mouth of the Demerara River, it is

bounded on the north by the Atlantic Ocean. It is linked by road east along the

coast, south along the Demerara River, and accessed from the west by daily

ferry and bridge crossings.

Georgetown, the capital of Guyana has approximately 175,000 (2001)

residents. The population can however swell by up to another 40,000 during the

working day, with persons commuting to work and for business from distances of

up to 140 miles away. The city expanded from a population of 90,000 in 1970 to

nearly 170,000 when it expanded east and south. The M&CC therefore had the

responsibility for extending its solid waste services to what is now described as

Greater Georgetown. Recent estimations show that Georgetown generates

16


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

approximately 247 tones of solid waste per day. This information provided by the

Solid Waste Department is based on estimations and there has never been a

week of weighing and analysing waste and the corresponding statistical analysis.

According the Ministry of Financing the City benefited from the Central

Government in the last two years (2002/2003) subvention of US& 160.000.

The City is managed by one Mayor and 30 City Councillors, including the

Deputy Mayor. The Chief Executive Officer is called the Town Clerk, who

coordinates the programmes of the following Departments:

• City Engineer

• Treasurer

• Markets

• Public Health

• City Constabulary

The Public Health Department, headed by the Medical Officer of Health,

has traditionally been responsible for all health related functions of the Council

and specifically the Solid Waste Management Services. As a result of the Draft

Plan for the Georgetown Municipal Solid Waste Management Department (Ref

4.2), several changes were made including the formation of a separate

department and additional personnel. These changes began to take effect in

October 2003.

Since the early 1990’s the collection and transportation operations have

been increasingly outsourced to private contractors – four at the time of writing.

They account for the removal of 95% of the wastes generated in the City, leaving

the Council to dispose of the remaining 5% - usually of special wastes.

The Council, however, manages the Mandela Site which is the final

disposal facility for most wastes. The staffing levels of both municipal and private

contractors are shown in the tables bellow is depicted in Table 2.2.3 and 2.2.3.

Table 2.2.3 Staffing Levels of the Georgetown Municipality

STAFFING LEVELS – MUNICIPALITY

DEPARTMENT MANAGERS SUPERVISORS OPERATIVES

Cleansing and Disposal 2 1 19

Transport 0 4 39

TOTAL 2 5 58

Table 2.2.4 Staffing Levels of the Private Contractors

17


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

STAFFING LEVELS – CONTRACTORS

CONTRACTOR DRIVERS HELPERS OTHERS TOTAL

Puran Brothers Disposal Service 6 34 40

Guyuwaste Disposal 2 4 6

Cevons Waste Management Inc 8 28 9 45

Didco Waste Disposal 3 16 2 21

TOTAL 19 82 11 112

The municipal employees in table 2.2.4 are mostly professionals, with a

reported average gross monthly income of US$ 411 for the 14 women and

US$420 for the men (Ref. 4.1). The total employment of the SW sector in the city

is 170 persons (58 municipal plus 112 private) for a population of 170,000. The

manpower indicator is 1 employee per 1,000 inhabitants conforms exactly with

the mean ratio of the rest of the countries of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The City Public Health Department through its Health Education Section

carries out environmental health education in the City Schools and in the

Community.

b) Anna Regina (Region 2)

This is by far the smallest of the Municipalities, with an estimated population of

5,700 in 1997, but enjoying a subvention from Central Government in that year of

US$51,800. In 2002/2003 this subvention was US$ 35.000 per year. The

municipality of Anna Regina has one person formally employed for solid waste

management; no other data was available at the time of this Diagnostic.

c) New Amsterdam (Region 6)

This Town was established by the Dutch, when they owned and controlled the

colony of Berbice, in the eighteen century. Its population is about 21,000. Unlike

most of the other towns it has not benefited perceptibly from the development

programmes over the many years, except more recently from the installation of

an updated domestic water supply system. It is principally the hub of

administrative and public service institutions, education, health, etc. and small

commercial entities. It has no significant industrial or manufacturing activity, and

there is therefore low absorptive capacity for young school leavers looking to

enter the workforce.

Situated on the Eastern bank near the mouth of the Berbice River, it is accessed

from Georgetown by seventy miles of road and a very active but sometimes

irregular ferry service, with the capacity to ferry dozens of cars and trucks at each

crossing. In 2002 and 2003 the subvention from the Central Government was

US$ 50.000 by year.

18


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

There are five (5) formal employees for the New Amsterdam Council solid waste

section, with an average monthly salary of US$172 (Ref 3.4).

d) Rose Hall Town (region 6)

Like Corriverton and Anna Regina and to some extent, Linden, Rose Hall was

elevated to its present status from that of a village. In 1997 its population was

estimated as 8,000. It is a relatively thriving commercial community, situated just

about two miles from the country’s largest Sugar Estate, Albion/ Port Mourant.

Like all municipalities. The Mayor is supported by a Town Clerk who is the Chief

Executive Officer. The total number of employees is ten (10). The subvention

form the Central Government is 2002 and 2003 was 70.000 per year.

e) Corriverton (region 6)

This town stretches along the Western Bank of the Corentyne River north

towards its mouth. It is perhaps the most prosperous of the communities in the

Region, as not only is Skeldon Sugar Estate centred there, but the Town also

benefits economically from the cross border activity between Guyana and

Suriname on the opposite side of the Corentyne River. It comprises ten villages

and settlements in which a population of 15,700 resides. The Town Council

benefited from a Central Government subvention of US $ 140.000 in two years

(2002 and 2003). There are ten (10) SWM employees here (1 foreman, 6

garbage collectors employed for 5 days/week, one truck driver and two tractor

operators – they represent 10.5% of the Town Council’s workforce) with an

average monthly salary of US$113 and US$135 respectively. Corriverton Town

Council reports no informal workers in solid waste-related activities. Some

employees have benefited from training in Corriverton, and more technical

knowledge on proper handling, disposal and disposal site preparation is needed.

f) Linden (region 10)

The Town of Linden comprises two settlements located on each bank about

seventy miles up the Demerara River. It was originally and still is a mining

community - a single industry town which developed around bauxite mining. In

the mid 1970’s when it was nationalized employment in the industry was as high

as 11,000. Families of employees and those of employees of support entities

and service agencies raised the population to about 33,500 by 1997. There has

however been a continuing drop in bauxite production in recent years, resulting in

lay offs- to the extent that at the time of the take-over by Omai Gold Mines – the

payroll was down to 4,500.

19


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

For most of its history the town depended on the management of the company

for the operation of communal services, including hospital services. Reportedly,

solid waste services in the company’s industrial and social complex was of a high

standard. Elsewhere, however, it continued to be disorganised, particularly on

the west bank of the River. The standard of governance set was hardly improved

over the years, and may have reduced in the face of financial and political

constraints. In 2002 and 2003 the Central Government subvention was US $

90.000 per year.

In Linden, the Solid Waste Committee is composed of the Chief of the solid

waste section, the foreman of the section, one supervisor, the Regional Health

Officer and a medical officer and sixteen (16) formal SWM employees.

According to the “Analysis of SWM services in Guyana”, PAHO-GASWMA 2003

(Ref. 3.4), nine (9) persons are working informally in waste-picking, but this was

not confirmed by the Town Council. Amongst the formal employees, the Council

has three anti-litter officers. It is felt that the salaries are too low to represent an

adequate incentive, and amongst the plans for more effective performance in

solid waste management are higher average wages and increased training for

the staff (in particular on occupational health & safety issues, public health

implications of poor solid waste handling, and training in administration). It is to

be noted that there is a reported 25% unemployment rate in Linden.

g) Solid Waste Personnel in Municipalities

As expressed before, Georgetown seems to have the proper number of

solid waste employees for its population; the other five municipalities however,

with a total population of 84,100 persons have only 43 formal workers or 0.5

employees per 1,000 inhabitants. This is an indicator that solid waste services

are deficient and this is corroborated by the low collection coverage reported and

the total lack of disposal, recycling and composting activities.

2.4 The Neighbourhood Democratic Councils (NDCs)

The Local Democratic Organs Act of 1980 created the Neighbourhood

Democratic Councils. Sixty-five (65) of them are currently operational. These

are spread over ten (10) geo-political areas and are managed by the respective

Administrative Regions. They are charged with the responsibility of management

of their areas and can raise revenues as such.

Only one NDC, Bv/Triunph, reported having a SWM service in place, most

other indicated that households disposed of solid waste themselves by in site

burning or burying

20


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure 2.2.3 Municipal Institutional Organization

MAYOR & CITY

COUNCIL/TOWN

COUNCIL

CEO

Works

Committee

Finance

Committee

Markets & Public

Health

Committee

Personnel &

Training

Committee

Legal

Affairs

Committe

* City

Engineer

Medical

Officer

Clerk of

Markets

*Director

Municipal

Solid Waste

*Operations

Manager

Cleansing

Officer/Public

Health Officer

Maternal &

Child

Welfare

Health

Clinics

Meat &

Food

*Environmental

Sanitation

*Project Engineer

* Depicts positions suggested only for Georgetown

2.5 International and Bilateral Organisations

There are a number of international and bilateral agencies that are based

in Guyana. Many of them are involved in financing and executing projects that

directly and indirectly impact upon waste management. A brief description of

these agencies is given below.

21


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

a) PAHO/WHO

The Pan American Health Organisation (PAHO), World Health Organisation

(WHO) has a country office located in Guyana. As part of the United Nations

System, it is the UN Technical Office for health and sanitation and has the

mission to contribute scientifically and technically with its expertise on solid waste

issues. The Organisation’s essential objective in the area of SWM is to

strengthen national and local services in order to improve the health of the

people of Guyana through partnerships with other Government and International

Agencies, Non-Governmental Organisations, Universities, Social Security

Agencies and Community Groups. PAHO promotes solid waste studies,

sustainable development policies, pilot projects on adequate technology and

exchange of technical information on solid waste.

b) IDB

The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) finances development projects for

Guyana. They respond to project proposals that deal with development. Their

main counterpart is the Ministry of Finance but they work with the agencies that

execute the projects. The IDB has been involved in solid waste management

through the provision of technical assistance to the Government of Guyana. It

has committed an initial US$1 million for the upgrading of the Mandela Landfill in

Georgetown. This will represent Phase I (until mid-2004) of a larger loaninitiative

that is currently under negotiation with the Government of Guyana and

that is expected to kick-start Phase II in 2005. The project including new landfill

at Eccles totals US$ 14 million.

The IADB is also funding the Urban Development Programme (US$ 25 million) to

aid municipalities in capacity building (US$ 5 million), infrastructure (US$ 20

million) and other areas, including solid waste.

c) UNDP

The United Nations Development Program also has a country office located in

Guyana. UNDP is the lead agency and the UN Technical Office for development

with includes contribute scientifically and technically with its expertise on urban

development and related issues such as solid waste management. The institution

also works with partnerships in governmental and non-governmental

organisations promoting welfare of the citizens.

d) CARICOM

The Headquarters for the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) is located in

Georgetown. CARICOM focuses on many issues including trade, employment

and technical issues. One major issue of concern identified for the Caribbean is

22


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

solid waste management. This is being addressed by the Caribbean

Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) which is based in St Lucia.

d) USAID

This agency has been focusing on three (3) main areas. These are HIV/Aids,

Economic Growth and Democracy & Government. They are in the process of

developing a five (5) strategy where it is likely that Solid Waste Management will

be a component in this strategy.

e) CIDA

They provide funding and development work in Guyana. At present they are

working with the Federation of Canadian Municipalities in the area of Municipal

Governance through the Guyana Municipal Governance and Management

Project 2.7 . Solid waste management was identified as a priority for the

municipalities, together with public education and awareness and human

resources management.

f) UNICEF

UNICEF is the UN agency that strives to protect children’s rights and provides

assistance to children in the area of education, nutrition and welfare. In Guyana

UNICEF has a project on Sanitation in hinterland areas with deal with improve

water and sanitation conditions.

2.6 Sector Modernization and Human Resource

As explained before, there seems to be a coordinated effort of main

stakeholders of the sector to set policies, objectives and goals. Having the

appropriate personnel and SWM units with in their structure is one of the

important steps to initiate sector modernisation and strengthening: In this area

the actual standing is as follows.

The Ministry of Health (EH Unit) has 28 persons (environmental health

officers, Senior EH Officers an Regional Coordinators) who deal specifically with

solid waste issues such as : technical guidance, monitoring and control, and

enforcement. EPA has these persons are generally professionals with an

Environmental Sciences and Engineering background. Within the Ministry of

Local Government and Regional Development there are fifty (50) persons

employed (Ref 2.7) some of them with the ability to develop policies, regulations

and guidelines. This is further hampered by the absence of an information

system. The UDP Programme is seeking to address some of these institutional

deficiencies at the Ministry.

23


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Enforcement is the responsibility of a number of agencies including the

MoH, EPA, the Guyana Police Force, the City Constabulary. It is recognised that

SWM transgressions sometimes require the strong arm of the law enforcement

officers. However, these transgressions are not seen as major offences and

quite often cases are dismissed. Some level of environmental training is required

for the Guyana Police Force and the Magistracy.

Most of the employees employed within the sector do not possess

adequate training in specific SWM techniques and management. There has

been some effort in Georgetown and this is evidenced in the overseas training

received by the Cleansing Officer. Georgetown has also made efforts to develop

courses. There was a recently concluded training course on composting.

In general, it is recognized that there is a need for training of inspectors,

enforcers, contractors municipal and other operatives, relevant media personnel,

teachers, students and NGO’s in the appreciation, techniques and benefits of

effective solid waste management. Given this deficiency, in addition to attracting

and retaining trained personnel, municipalities and NDCs need to establish

partnerships with volunteers, community groups and the private sector in order to

improve their capabilities.

The figures indicate that there are no commonalties in the way SWM

departments/sections are formulated. It should be noted that these figures may

be deceptive if the efficiency of the services are also not taken into consideration.

An effective solid waste management model in the Country should address the

following areas:

• a waste strategy

• a regulatory framework- monitoring and enforcement

• an institutional and operational framework

• a public awareness and education strategy

• a cost recovery strategy

A Pre-Investment Study for a Georgetown Solid Waste Management

Programme was conducted during 1999-2000 by Brown, Vence and Associates

(BVA) in pursuance of technical assistance being provided by the Inter-American

Development Bank (IDB) to the Mayor and City Council, with the agreement of

the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development. The objectives of

the IDB technical assistance programme were to: i) analyse the existing Solid

Waste System, ii) assess alternative management solutions, iii) select and

implement an integrated waste management plan which would provide a

minimum of 20 years of disposal capacity through landfilling, incineration,

composting and for recycling. The information presented by BVA was intended

“to provide interested private companies with the necessary background

information to design and develop an integrated waste management system”.

24


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The eventual outcome of the study was the decision to develop the Eccles

Landfill Site.

A Workshop of July 3 - 4 2003 (convened by PAHO) recommended that a

study group be appointed of relevant technical, administrative and legal experts

to draft recommendations for an appropriate national policy on solid waste

management, together with the development of a structure for a national

institutionalise.

2.6.1 Education and Public Awareness

There is no overall programme for educating the public about solid waste

management. Formal coverage in the school curriculum is quite limited. There

is however a degree programme offered in Environmental Studies and a Diploma

in Environmental Public Health conducted by the University of Guyana which was

established in 1963. The degree programme has been in place since 1993. On

average there are fifteen graduates per year. They are usually employed by the

EPA. However, like many other cases, they leave Guyana and this depletes the

body of knowledge on all environmental matters including SWM. The graduates

from the Diploma programme are usually employed as Environmental & Public

Health Officers. There is a need for more emphasis to be placed on SWM in the

curricula. Masters programmes in Environmental Management and

Environmental Engineering are available through the Cave Hill and St Augustine

campuses of the University of the West Indies.

There is immediate need to organise a surveying group to conduct site

visits to collect verifiable data on the existence or otherwise of SWM services and

public awareness programmes around the country, in order to establish a reliable

database. The information will also facilitate the mounting of better structured

public awareness and educational programmes aimed at the widest possible

range of target groups.

Public education and public awareness should be other priority areas for

the Municipalities. Public co-operation is paramount for the successful

implementation of many municipal services. In general, the endemic ineffective

provision of services has discouraged the public from paying taxes, from

complying with by-laws, and from collaborating with the implementation of

campaigns on littering, public health, traffic safety and other public initiatives.

Information and technical assistance to improve public cooperation and

compliance in all these areas is urgently needed. The Municipalities lack the

technology (computers and audio-visual equipment), materials, and technical and

social marketing skills to set up public education programmes. There is a

profound interest in this as is evidenced by the fact that Georgetown is interested

in developing a programme on Public Education on Municipal Matters with

25


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

special attention to the involvement of children and teenagers in eco-clubs in

order to develop environmental and SWM programmes.

In addition to these programmes there should be relevant training of all

participating officials, managers, teachers and media personnel as they play a

very important role in public education.

2.7 Responsibilities and Functions

Solid Waste Management in Guyana has traditionally been overseen by

several ministries and agencies. Traditionally, before the creation of EPA the

Ministry of Health was the leading institution because of its responsibilities in

environmental health, and because of the national presence of environmental

health officers. Lately both EPA and the Ministry of Local Government and

Regional Development are becoming involved because it has been recognised

tha SWM is and interdisciplinary topic that has deep environmental,

administrative and financial implications. SWM has also grown from a traditional

approach of waste collection and disposal to a complete management integrated

approach that considers it a part of sustainable development that also

encompasses recycling, cost recovery, education, health and environmental

issues.

Next table (2.2.5) describes the current scenario in Guyana with respect to the

various roles and responsibilities.

26


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.2.5 Summary of Responsibilities for Solid Waste Management

FUNCTION RESPONSIBILITIES COMMENTS

Waste Collection

Household

Industrial

Special

Municipality, NDC, contractors

Contractors, Municipality

Contractors, Municipality

Georgetown subcontracts household waste collection.

Many dissatisfied households and businesses pay

private contractors for collection services. Many

NDCs have infrequent collection schedules.

Disposal Sites Municipality, NDC None of these manage a sanitary landfill site.

Policy

Environment

Solid Waste

Public Health

EPA

MOLGRD

MOH

A national environmental plan and solid waste

management policy has been developed by the EPA.

Recycling has not been addressed. The MOH

through the Environmental Health Officers offers

advice to NDCs and Municipalities on SWM

Regulatory (National)

Regulatory (Local)

EPA, MoH, MOLGRD

Mujnicipalities and NDCs

The EPA is responsible for developing legal

regulations pertaining to the environment with the

heath risk assessments of the MoH, while the

MOLGRD is responsible for solid waste management.

The MOLGRD through the Regional Administrative

Centres has administrative and financial control over

the NDCs. It can also act as an economical regulatory

agency for private intervention in the sector.

Monitoring

Enforcement

Financial Planning

Approvals & Permits

Public Education &

Training

MOH – (Env. Health Officers)

Municipalities – (PubHealth Off)

EPA

Constabulary

Public Health Officers

EPA

Local Gov.

MOLGRD

Ministry of Finance

EPA, Central Housing &

Planning Authority

Lands and Surveys

Local Gov.

Local Gov.

Min. of Education

University of Guyana (UG)

Guybernet

These officers monitor septic tanks, waste receptacles

and address complaints

The EPA monitors industrial activities

Responsible for enforcement of municipal laws.

Constabulary, policemen and public health officers

can report and charge for dumping and littering

offences.

MOLGRD allocates funds to the Municipalities and

NDCs through the various regional administrative

centres

All new waste facilities will have to submit EIAs to the

EPA plus get planning permission for land use from

Lands & Surveys

UG offers degree in Environmental Studies

Guybernet develops Youth Educational Programmes

on sustainable development

27


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.3 LEGAL AND REGULATORY FRAMEWORK

The legal and regulatory framework of the Solid waste sector in Guyana

should first be examined from its historical origins. This has resulted in certain

important sources of laws emerging which significantly influence the legal and

regulatory framework. The first point to note is the fact that Guyanese laws had

their origins, as creatures of English laws. The laws tended to be enacted

specifically within the colony by colonial legislators, or applied through automatic

reception from the United Kingdom Parliament. This fact is evidenced by the

application in the area of Solid Waste Management of the Public Health

Ordinance, which was passed in British Guiana in 1934.

The next point in the evolution of Guyanese laws came in 1966, which

marked Guyana’s independence and commenced a process of enacting local

laws, many of which were re-enactment of colonial statutes with minor

amendments to meet local circumstances. 1970 marked the year of Guyana

became a republic. With this came the introduction of a Republican Constitution,

and the shedding of most of the vestiges of colonialism, including the filing and

hearing of appeals from judicial decisions by the United Kingdom based Privy

Council. This Constitution was intended to function as the supreme law of

Guyana, establishing certain rights of individuals, and also clarifying the role of

the state, parliament and the judiciary.

The most critical year in our legislative history, however, is seen as 1980.

That year saw Guyana’s embracing of certain socialist ideals and the creation of

the ‘Cooperative Republic Of Guyana’. The Constitution passed in 1980 still

remains in force with amendments. This Constitution now serves as the supreme

law of Guyana, building on the foundation of the 1970 Constitution, reestablishing

and strengthening the rights and duties of the individual, the state

and all of its associated organs. The current administrative structure found in

Guyana, reflected in the Regional and Sub-regional administration is a direct

product of the Constitution of 1980.

For the present purposes, the following features of the national structure

created by the 1980 Constitution are worthy of note. The first is that of the

separation of powers among the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary.

Applying this to the legal framework for solid waste management, we find the

Executive responsible for setting the broad policy, the Legislature through

Parliament responsible for enacting through primary legislation and delegated

legislation the policy which has been set, and the Judiciary through its organs of

the Magistrates Court, the High Court and the Court of Appeal responsible in part

for monitoring, upholding and enforcing the laws set by Parliament. The Judiciary

is further charged with ensuring that the laws and actions of the remaining

organs are not outside the scope of the Constitution and do not contravene the

fundamental rights of individuals.

28


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.3.1 Sources of Law

With the legal and regulatory structure briefly highlighted we find the

sources of laws in Guyana to be in the following:

a) The Constitution - The supreme law of Guyana; creating and enshrining

certain fundamental rights and freedoms. Two provisions of the constitution are

directly related to this sector Article 25 which provides that ‘Every citizen has a

duty to participate in activities designed to improve the environment and protect

the health of the nation.’ And Article 36 which provides that ‘In the interests of the

present and future generations, the State will protect and make rational use of its

land, mineral and water resources, as well as its fauna and flora, and will take all

appropriate measures to conserve and improve the environment’. These articles

place at the highest level the collective duty of citizen and State to protect the

Guyanese environment in which solid waste management is an integral part.

b) Common Law - This encompasses cases adjudicated and decided upon by

the Courts of Guyana, as well as English Courts until 1966 in most matters and

1970 in other instances.

c) Primary Acts of Parliament - These are Acts passed to enact the policy

directions of the executive.

d) Delegated Legislation - These are powers conferred by Parliament allowing

specific Ministries, Agencies and bodies’ scope to regulate the specific area

covered by the Primary legislation within the ambit of the primary legislation.

These are generally found in regulations, by-laws, standards and to a lesser

extent guidelines.

e) International Law - International law is not a primary source of law within

Guyana. Treaties, declarations and understanding at an international level only

have true effect in Guyana, when ratified, implemented and enacted through Acts

of Parliament. Guyana has participated at several international forums dealing

directly and indirectly with solid waste management and the environment.

Guyana has made commitments at the international level under the Rio

Declaration on Environment and Development, Agenda 21, the United Nations

Convention on Bio-diversity and International Convention for the prevention of

Pollution from Ships (MARPOL). Guyana is yet to ratify the Basel Convention on

Ship Generated and trans-boundary movement of hazardous waste and their

disposal.

At the international level Guyana’s participation in environmental treaties

which govern global warming, climate change (United Nations Framework

Convention on Climate Change) and the ozone layer have placed solid waste

related issues on the international agenda. In particular, regarding the

29


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

consequences that environmental changes due to the improper disposal of solid

waste, as noted in a document Guyana Initial National Communication Response

to commitments to the UNFCC (Ref 2.9). ‘The waste sector is in dire need of up

grade in Guyana. Solid Waste handling should be the sector targeted for primary

action. Emissions can be lowered by reducing waste generation’

In Guyana today these and other, international commitments serve more

as a policy guide, and will influence legislation in due course. The driving force in

Guyana’s participation in International law and regimes in recent years has been

trade relations. This is reflected in the current emphasis which is being paid to

negotiations at the levels of the World Trade Organization (WTO), the Free Trade

Areas of the Americas (FTAA), with the European Union and under the

CARICOM Single Market and Economy guided by the Revised Treaty of

Chagaramus. Solid Waste Management does not appear to be currently

prioritised on the international agenda for Guyana.

2.3.2 Laws and Regulations

The Legal and regulatory framework regarding solid waste management in

Guyana is governed by the Common law and several legislative instruments.

These instruments operate at the national, municipal as well as regional level.

There exists little cohesion and integration among these instruments, the result of

which is the creation of jurisdictional conflicts, as well as difficulties in

ascertaining the scope of the duties and responsibilities created under the

various instruments. In addition, the fact that many of the instruments are

outdated, having been enacted some more than fifty years ago, raises the

question of their relevance to the circumstances of today. The Legislative

instruments which are comprised both of primaries as well a subsidiary

legislation and by-laws are highlighted hereunder.

a) The Common Law

Two areas are relevant to Solid Waste Management; these are found in

the civil wrongs of nuisance and ‘The Rule in Rylands v Fletcher (1868) LB 1 Ex

265; LR 3. H.L 330)’. Nuisance is also prosecutable as a criminal wrong. These

civil wrongs can apply mainly with respect to the disposal of solid waste. A

common law nuisance will arise when the disposal of solid waste causes an

unlawful interference with a person’s use or enjoyment of land, or some right

over, or in connection with that land. Smells, smoke and other results of improper

disposal may create causes of actions for the owners and occupiers of land close

to disposal sites.

The Rule in ‘Rylands v Fletcher’, imposes strict liability for any damages

caused, on any person who for his own purposes brings onto his land and

30


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

collects and keeps there anything likely to do mischief if it escapes. He does so

at his own peril, and is liable for all damage which results as a natural

consequence of the escape. This rule covers both personal injury and injury to

property, and has arisen regarding the improper storage, accumulation and

disposal of noxious substances, highly flammable substances, oil, and rusty wire.

The critical elements under this rule are that there must be an escape of the

substance, and the accumulation must not be a natural use of the land.

b) Sector Specific Legislation

The legislative instruments which are highlighted in this section have a

direct impact on, and relevance to the solid waste sector. These instruments

provide the framework for the setting of policy, the establishments of the duties

and responsibilities for the delivery of services within the sector, including

administrative duties, contractual powers, health requirements and also

sanctions for offences related to the sector. As will be revealed, these

instruments are a useful foundation on which to build, but are in need of reform.

The Environmental Protection Act NO. 11 of 1996 - This Act seeks “inter alia” to

establish a comprehensive framework, for environmental management, including

solid waste management, at a national level. The framework includes setting of

policy, the issuing of guidelines, establishment of standards, monitoring as well

as enforcement. The importance of the framework contained herein is reinforced

by the policy imperatives contained in the National Development Strategy

(reference 2.2) which sees the EPA assuming a virtually super human role in the

regulation of the environment. Please see Legal Annex I hereto for a brief

discussion of the structure created under this Act.

The Public Health Ordinance Act Cap 145 Laws of British Guiana 1953 Edition -

Passed in 1934 this Ordinance represents the oldest laws in Guyana regulating

solid waste management. This Ordinance has provided a framework on which

many of the municipal by-laws relating to solid waste were built. In addition it was

responsible for establishing the initial scope of duties and responsibilities

regulating waste collection and disposal. It is still relevant and is used today to

enforce several offences including littering. Its use is necessary to fill in gaps

which may exist in the more recently implemented structure.

The Municipal and District Councils Act CAP 28:01 (As Amended) - Together

with the regulations and by-laws made there-under, this Act comprises the main

body of written laws governing solid waste management within the Municipalities.

Please see Legal Annex II hereto for a brief discussion of the structure created

under this Act.

There are certain important facts that deserve highlighting at this stage

regarding the structure created by this Act and its effect on the delivery of

31


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

services within the sector. The first is that the delivery of solid waste related

services does not fall within the scope of public services and public utilities

regulated under the Public Utilities Commission Act. Section 4 of the Public

Utilities Commission Act which defines the type of services and providers that

would be regulated makes not mention of waste related services.

The second point is that municipal cleanliness is governed by the City of

Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of Waste By-laws, a municipal by-law

which is in excess of twenty years old. The only constructive revision of which

was the increase in fines for offences contrary to the provisions of this by-law.

This by-law is discussed below.

Thirdly, the discretion granted to dispose of solid waste in the

Municipalities and NDCs is to a large extent unfettered. As such, they perform

the functions of both the regulator and the provider of the service. This may raise

questions regarding the capacity to, and effectiveness of, any attempt at

regulating the delivery of services within the sector.

And finally, it should be noted that, the use of the powers to contract

services, as conferred in legislation, has integrated the private sector into the

delivery of services for the sector. Private contractors are used by Municipalities

and NDCs to support their own activities and duties to deliver services within the

sector. An important, but absent, criteria in the delivery of services is effective

contracts and licenses. It is suggested that with the sharing of responsibilities

between Municipalities and private contractors, contracts become a critical tool.

The current contracts used within the sector require revision to ensure that the

rights and obligations of the parties are effectively spelt out.

2.3.3 Delegated Legislation

Listed below are the instruments enacted under and through powers

conferred by primary Acts, these take the form of by-laws and regulations. These

by-laws and regulations are an integral part of the legislative framework

established by the legislation discussed above, giving particulars to the general

powers conferred by the primary Acts. Though most are out-dated and in need of

reform, they provide a worthwhile platform for the improvements of the sector.

The City of Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of Waste By-laws -

Passed in 1981 these by-laws established a framework governing the collection

and disposal of waste, providing for several definitions of waste including

combustible waste, commercial waste and waste in general. It also established a

framework that is intended to regulate offences relating to waste disposal,

including dumping of waste. It further seeks to establish a licensing mechanism

for the collection of waste. Many of the offences related to solid waste are

currently prosecuted under this By-law. This by-law also places the main duty for

32


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

the removal of waste within the City on the ‘Cleansing Officer’. Provisions is also

made for the disposal of waste by incinerators, however few criteria are set for

the operation of these incinerators, save that they should not be a nuisance.

Provision is also made for the charging of a fee for the disposal of commercial

waste. These by-laws are a useful starting point for solid waste management, but

are in need of review and updating.

The Offensive Matter Removal By-Laws - These by-laws were made

under the Public Health Ordinance for the City of Georgetown and confirmed on

the 16 th August, 1904. Though Offensive matter is not defined, this By-law

creates an offence of carrying ‘offensive matter’ within the limits of the city

between the hours of 6.am and 6 p.m. It also imposes standards for the vessels

used for the carrying of offensive matter. Further, it creates a duty to clean any

spills which result from the carriage of offensive matter. In any reform of the

technical legal standards of the sector, these by-laws must be considered.

The Scavenging and Cleansing of the City By-laws ; Confirmed by

Governor and Court of Policy of the 26 th July, 1917. and also applicable to NDCs,

this by-law is intended to regulate the disposal of certain types of refuse. It

introduces a definition of refuse and provides for separate classifications. It also

imposes an obligation on the occupier of premises to keep them swept and

cleansed and also places a further obligation on the occupier to place a movable

receptacle, for which dimensions are specified on the premises to facilitate the

removal of refuse. These by-laws should be compared and read together with the

City of Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of Waste By-laws. The 1981 Bylaws

contain a provision which seeks to revoke these by-laws. However as the

1981 By-laws only relate to the City of Georgetown, it is suggested that the

Scavenging and Cleansing of the City By-laws are still applicable to other

municipalities for which the revocation did not apply. Were this not so, there

would be a significant gap in the regulation and management of waste within the

other municipalities and NDCs. This gap would not have been the intention of the

passing of the 1981 by-laws.

The Keeping of Animals (Georgetown) Regulations - These regulations

seek to provide a framework for the collection and disposal of animal waste,

including the type of receptacle and the times of removal.

The City Government By-laws - Within these by-laws several provisions

are made regulating the disposal of waste and refuse, depending on the place

where such waste is created. For example, regarding common Lodging Houses,

a duty is imposed on every keeper of a common lodging house to “cause all solid

and liquid filth or refuse to be removed once at least every day before the hour of

eight in the forenoon from every room, therein”. Provision is also made regarding

receptacles that should be kept by both lodging as well as eating houses. For

Lodging houses there is to be provided at least one receptacle with the house

with a capacity of three cubic feet for every sixteen lodgers.

33


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The New Amsterdam Town Council By-Laws - This is intended to

establish rules, duties and obligations specific to the town of New Amsterdam.

Provision is made hereunder for the following activities which may affect solid

waste management in this Municipality. In particular by-laws are passed

regarding scavenging and cleansing, similar to those governing the city of

Georgetown.

Regulation No. 7 of 2000 The Environmental Protection (Hazardous

Wastes Management) Regulations 2000 - These regulations provide a

framework for the intended management of Hazardous Wastes. Its

consequences for the definition, classification and categorization of waste within

Guyana must be noted.

The following further observations are made regarding these legislative

instruments. The legislative instruments above provide insight into some of legal

framework affecting the technical legal aspects of the sector. The standards set

by the legislation are not as comprehensive as they can be. Several gaps exist in

the legislation, there are no provisions in the laws which prescribe standards for

the analyses and characterisation of solid waste. Further, though provisions are

made in the City of Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of Waste By-laws for

the charging of disposal related fees, this mechanism is not effectively utilised.

These provisions also highlight a waste disposal related gap, in the laws and

regulations, which is compounded by the fact that, save for hazardous wastes,

there are no other effective technical standards governing the disposal of other

types of waste. 1

In support of filling some of the gaps identified above, it must be noted that

efforts towards the classification of waste and guidelines regarding the final

disposal are currently in their infancy in Guyana. There may be the need to

integrate legal considerations into the various plans and guidelines. The EP Act

provides textual support for the regulation of disposal activities, with provision

made for the conduct of environmental impact assessments and public

participation in this process. This is explored in greater detail in Legal Annex I.

However it should be noted at this stage.

a) INSTITUTIONAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEGISLATION

The instruments discussed hereunder are integral to the delivery of solid

waste related services and the sector outside the municipalities at the regional

level. The structure is given constitutional support by Articles 71 to 78 of the 1980

Constitution. In examining this framework, it must be borne in mind that at the

time of writing both the process of reform of these institutions and, as a result,

the legislation, is incomplete.

1 For example; hospital and other special wastes.

34


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The Regional Development Authorities Act No. 14 of 1977 (CAP 28:08) -

Coming into effect in 1980, this Act represents part of Guyana’s movement

towards a cooperative republic. It is responsible for the creation of the current

administrative structure in Guyana, characterized by the division of the Country

into 10 Administrative regions. The Regional Administrations created under this

Act are responsible, inter alia, for the functioning of the Neighbourhood

Democratic Councils (NDCs). Solid Waste Management though not specifically

mentioned within the functions of regional administrations, could be included

within their duties to develop services associated with housing and the overall

development of the area of their responsibility.

The Local Democratic Organs Act No. 12 of 1980 CAP 28:09 - This Act

creates a framework of duties and responsibilities within the geographical

boundaries of NDCs. Solid Waste management is also not specifically mentioned

within the functions of the NDCs and local democratic organs which are created

by virtue of this Act. However solid waste management may come within the

functions of these bodies to protect and improve the environment. Furthermore,

the powers which would have been formally vested in village councils under the

Local Government Act CAP 28:02 are vested in the NDCs. The vesting of these

powers places specific duties regarding solid waste management within the

scope of duties of NDCs. This is due mainly to the fact that the Local

Government Act CAP 28:02 made certain municipal by-laws relevant to waste

management applicable to at that time village councils.

The Local Government Act CAP 28:02 - The original legislation governing

village councils, now NDCs, this Act provides a framework which still applies to

the functions of several of the NDCs by virtue of section 6 of the Local

Democratic Organs Act CAP 28:09. This Act provided for the Scavenging and

Cleansing of the City By-laws applicable to the city, to also be applicable for

village councils, and, by extension today, to NDCs.

b) INTER-SECTORAL LEGISLATION

Solid waste management affects several sectors, whether as a result of

disposal practices and permissions, the implementation of standards or

otherwise. This section highlights the legislative instruments which have some

bearing on the functions of the sector. This inter-sector relationship is seen in the

following extract from part V of the EPA guidelines on landfill sites. ‘Application

forms must be filled out by the respective municipalities or local government and

sent to the EPA. For permission to operate the landfill site, in addition application

for planning permission must be obtained from the Central Housing and Planning

Authority, Ministry of Housing and Water, and the Central Board of Heath,

Ministry of Health.’ (Ref 3.3) This multi-sector effect also raises the important

35


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

issue of a holistic and coordinated approach to solid waste management across

all institutions.

The Town and Country Planning Act CAP 20:01. - Intended to provide a

system for the orderly and progressive development of land, cities, towns and

other areas, whether rural or urban, this Acts requires permission to be obtained

for any development or scheme. The establishment of a landfill can fall within the

scope of this Act. Permission is sought from the Central Housing and Planning

Authority established under the Act. A Landfill development should also not

detract from development plans for the specific area. Should an activity proceed

without this permission, the developer can be guilty of a criminal offence and

subject to a prohibition order.

The Water and Sewerage Act (No.5 of 2002) CAP 30:01 - In addition to

establishing the jurisdiction of several entities including the Guyana Water

Incorporated, this Act creates an offence regarding the pollution of water ways

with waste. This Act becomes relevant as three of the municipalities

(Georgetown, Linden and Bartica) are serviced by waterways, the pollution of

which will be outside the jurisdiction of the municipalities, primarily due to the

provisions of this Act.

The Pesticides and Toxic Chemical Act (No. of 2002) (CAP 68:09). -

Though pesticides and Toxic chemicals are not part of the current survey, it must

be highlighted that the mechanism established under this Act, will have some

relevance to the management of hazardous wastes. These include incorporation

of the representatives of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into the

management structure suggested, together with requirements regarding

handling, transportation and disposal of pesticides and toxic chemicals.

The Old Metal Dealers Act (As amended) (CAP 91:08) - This Act is also

relevant due to the fact that waste is not properly defined within the laws of

Guyana. This Act may provide some scope for recycling of materials particularly

if they come within the definition of old metal contained in the Act. For example

scrap metal, broken metal, old metal goods and portions of machinery all fall

within the definition of old metal. Items of this description are currently dumped

and discarded at landfill and dumping sites. It should be noted that tin is included

among these metals.

The Mining Act No. 20 of 1989 CAP 65:01 - Though outside the scope of

this diagnostic and analysis, it should be noted that this Act provides for

regulations to be passed conserving and preserving the ‘waste of minerals’.

There have been some regulations and guidelines put forward in this regard.

The Occupational Safety and Health Act CAP 99:10 - This Act introduced

a duty on employers to conduct work in a manner which does not cause the

discharge of any noxious, hazardous, or polluting matter into the air, water, or

36


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

sod. This Act can serve as a tool to hold liable persons who may dump materials

indiscriminately, as a product of the work process. The added duty imposed

regarding information on the handling and disposal of hazardous chemicals

should be noted. This Act is also relevant to the work of the employees of the

municipalities and the private contractors responsible for the collection and

disposal of waste

The Guyana Water Authority Act CAP 55:01 - This Act makes provision for

the functioning of the Guyana Water Authority. It introduced into the laws a

definition of sewage which includes domestic wastes, commercial wastes and

industrial wastes. These terms are however not further defined in this Act. This

Act created a power of the authority to make agreements with persons regarding

the reception, treatment and disposal of sewage as defined within the Act. The

acceptance of dried sewage treatment sludge should be regulated in a near

future as soon as new sanitary landfills are in place.

The East Demerara Water Conservancy Act CAP 55:03 - The Board

established under this Act controls the surface water supplied to the Georgetown

Municipality and many of the Costal NDCs. This Act creates an offence which is

monitored by the Board, for any person who throws any earth, dirt, stones,

broken bottles, filth and any other substance likely to contaminate conservancy

water or water in a reservoir.

The Customs Act CAP 82:01 – This Act in Section 8 places an

environmental levy and tax on every unit of non-returnable metal, plastic, glass or

cardboard contained of any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage imported into

Guyana. This Act is referred to in the Economic and Financial section of this

sectoral analysis, the important issue that should be considered is the fact that

the revenues generated under this section are paid to the Commissioner of

Customs and Excise. These funds appear not to be directed in any way towards

addressing the consequences of the use of these plastics in particular their

contribution to the composition of solid waste. It may be necessary to explore the

effectiveness of this potential legislative aid to resolving solid waste management

difficulties.

The Guyana National Bureau of Standards Act No 11 of 1984 - The

Bureau constituted under this Act is responsible for the preparation and

promotion of standards in relation to, inter alia services, and processes. The

Bureau of standards will therefore play an integral role in the implementation of

any upgrade in the standards regarding the delivery of solid waste services, and

also those established to monitor and evaluate solid waste management

processes. The powers that are worthy to note include the power to appoint

special committees to assist the managing council in the performance of its

various functions. These committees tend to be used when standards are

required for a specific area of specialty, for which solid waste qualifies. Also the

power to establish standards in collaboration with other entities, for solid waste

37


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

management, the development of standards will involve at a minimum, the EPA

and the Municipalities.

The Criminal Law (Offences) Act CAP 8:01 - The main source of serious

criminal offences in Guyana, this Act creates a criminal offence for everyone who

commits any common nuisance which endangers the lives, safety, or health of

the public, or which injures the person of any individual. The penalty for this

offence is imprisonment for two years.

This offence may be particularly relevant to those responsible for the

establishment and running of a landfill or dump site which creates a nuisance to

adjoining land owners.

The Summary Jurisdiction (Offences) Act CAP 8:02 - Designed to cover

less serious offences, provisions affecting solid waste can be found in Section

153(1) under the title Minor Offences, chiefly in ‘Town’. The offences mainly

surround acts of littering. The Offences created herein makes any person who

does any of the following acts if found guilty, liable in each case, to a fine of not

less that seven thousand dollars. These acts include : (i) in any public way or

public place, or in any public canal, throws or lays any coals, stones, slates,

shells, lime, bricks, timber, iron, firewood, or other materials; (ii) throws or lays

any dirt, litter, ashes, or night soil, or any carrion, fish, offal, rubbish, or other

matter or thing, or commits any nuisance, on any public way or public place; (iii)

or causes or permits any offensive matter to run from any slaughter-house,

butcher’s shop, stall, kitchen, or dunghill into any public way or public place; or

(iv) in any town deposits in any place whatever any offensive matter or thing to

the injury or annoyance of any inhabitant or passenger in the town. And (v)

Throws, or being the owner or occupier of any house or other building in any

town permits to be thrown, from any part of the house or other building any, slate,

brick, rubbish, water, or other thing. These offences are liable to prosecution by

the police.

The following observations are made regarding these legislative

instruments. The legislative instruments which operate outside the sector,

integrate several other agencies in solid waste management in Guyana. Several

of the provisions contain provisions which may provide a textual conflict with the

main legislation governing the sector. The conflict is therefore in need of

clarification.

Further the acknowledgement that Solid Waste Management affects many

sectors is present and visible in the overall approach to Solid Waste related

issues found in water related laws, the Town and Country Planning Act CAP

20:01 and the Public health code. The strength of this regime is however reduced

due to the archaic nature of the health codes 2 and the lack of coordination

2 There is currently a draft in place to up-date this presently out dated structure. The

Nation Health Plan 2003 – 2007 Draft 2002 (Reference 2.6)

38


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

among the planning, water and municipal authorities. This is manifest by the fact

that the current dumping of semi-solid waste on Homestretch Avenue in

Georgetown, is being done without planning permission and in possible

contravention of the Greater Georgetown Development plan. 3 The fact is that

there is scope for participation among the created with the various legislative

instruments; however the reality and practice are different to the objective of

collaboration. It will be integral to the development of the sector to utilize the

legislative opportunities offered for improved collaboration and coordination.

2.3.4 Standards and Definitions

There are provisions which can be found in various legislative instruments

which set some standards regarding aspects of solid waste management.

Though these provisions may be dated and can be seen as obscure and not

applicable to today’s circumstances, they are a foundation which can be

improved upon.

Standards regarding waste receptacles, disposal machinery and

equipment, as well as hours during which collections should not be made can be

found in several by-laws passed under the Municipal and District Councils Act

CAP 28:01. These standards are set in the following (i) City Government By-

Laws; (ii) Offensive Matter Removal By-Laws; (iii) Scavenging and Cleansing of

the City By-laws; (iv) Keeping of Animals (Georgetown) Regulations and (V) the

Collection and Disposal of Waste By-laws. In these by-laws, receptacles for

house refuse can be made of any material and should not exceed a capacity of

three cubic feet, and in the case of hotels or businesses twelve cubic feet. For

eating houses all refuse and waste matter shall be collected from such eating

houses and ‘deposited in a covered metal receptacle or wooden box lined with tin

not exceeding 12 cubic feet in capacity’.

Where offensive matter is being carried it is prescribed that the vehicle

which is used for the carriage to have a proper cover preventing the escape of

the contents and stench of the contents from the vehicle used as the carriage.

Where animals are being kept, the receptacle is to be metal, movable in nature

and fitted with a firm metal cover.

It must me noted that there are no standards specific to calculation of the

quantity of waste and also to analyze the composition of waste. These standards

are today an international norm and must be addressed in any plan to implement

standards for the sector in Guyana.

There has been very little standardization of the definitions, classifications

and categorization of wastes under the laws of Guyana. The present picture is a

3 This information was as a result of a telephone interview conducted. This development

plan is to be presented to Cabinet shortly.

39


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

mixture of old definitions together with new and evolving standardizations and

classifications. Classification and categorizations were introduced by Regulation

No. 7 of 2000 The Environmental Protection (Hazardous Wastes Management)

Regulations 2000. This regulation specifically defined hazardous waste and

provided classifications based on chemical and reactive characteristics, and

introduced a categorization based inter alia on ‘hazardous industrial waste’,

hazardous chemical waste’ flammable waste, clinical waste, and severely toxic

waste. The regulations however only seek to cover wastes within this

classification above a specific quantity, thus leaving a gap in the coverage of

wastes with the characteristics, which are accumulated in a lesser quantity.

These regulations also introduced into the legal framework definitions of

‘liquid industrial waste’, medical waste as well as incinerator waste, which appear

to be excluded from the definition of Hazardous wastes.

In addition to the provisions under the EP Act The Water and Sewerage

Act No. 5 of 2002, introduced through primary legislation a definition of waste

which omits any classification and qualifies itself by entry into the system, viz by

spillage. This waste is any solid or liquid spilled or deposited into a water way

likely to cause pollution. The Act however makes provisions and creates offences

relating to ‘household waste’ and ‘trade waste’ without defining these. This

illustrates a lack of consistency in definitions and thus scope.

The EP Act adds further inconsistency to the definition by defining waste,

by making some attempt at classification, but making the act not one of spilling or

depositing, but adds discharge and emission. This definition however makes

scope for classification by allowing for what qualifies as waste to be prescribed.

To qualify as waste however, the article or thing must be in such volume,

composition or manner as to cause an adverse effect.

The Collection and Disposal of Waste By-laws has placed some

definitions and classifications of waste into the laws of Guyana. These however

have not been integrated into subsequent categorizations of waste. For example,

those of commercial waste and combustible wastes. Waste is defined in this bylaw

as ‘all trash, rubbish, garbage, carcass and all other refuse or discarded

matter and includes commercial waste


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

broken glass and crockery, and includes sub classifications of kitchen refuse,

yard refuse and flower garden refuse. This is also evident in the Offensive Matter

Removal By-Laws made under the Public Health Ordinance for the City of

Georgetown confirmed on the 16 th August, 1904. It attempts to deal with

offensive matters, but provides no definition of this. Similarly under the Keeping

of Animals (Georgetown) Regulations, provision is made for animal waste to be

kept and disposed of, including the receptacles and the times of removal.

The Guyana Water Authority Act CAP 55:01 adds further to this

classification problem by introducing into the laws a definition of sewage which

includes domestic wastes, commercial wastes and industrial wastes. These

terms are however not further defined in this Act.

2.3.5 Monitoring, Enforcement and Sanctions

a) Monitoring

The Role of the EPA, the Public Health Officers, the Guyana Police force,

the city constabulary and the cleansing unit of the M&CC should be noted. These

bodies have within the scope of their powers, monitoring, collection and disposal

of waste. Their roles are augmented and supported by the existing legislation;

however lack of personnel and appropriate training has severely restricted the

effectiveness of the power. Monitoring powers permit entry onto and inspection of

premises, and also the power to issue cease and desist notices. The role of each

institution in monitoring compliance with solid waste regulations should be clearly

defined. Municipalities should monitor offences of the general public in relation to

littering for example. EPA should monitor compliance of municipalities and

private contractors in relation to solid waste treatment and disposal facilities and

illicit hazardous waste dumping by major producers of hazardous and municipal

waste.

b) Enforcement and Sanctions

Enforcement of the legal provisions can best be described as weak. The

policy imperative sees enforcement as the ‘empowerment of regulatory and other

agencies to demand strict compliance of regulations’ (The National Environment

Action Plan 2001-2005)(Reference 2.4). Several factors contribute to this

including personnel, resources and adjudicative attitudes. Provisions do however

exist under several laws prohibiting certain activities. This provides a basis for

enforcement which is important. The importance is however diminished by

potential conflicts in enforcement powers, a lack of knowledge and inadequate

fines.

41


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

A clear example of this is the offence of littering. This can be, and in some

instances, has been prosecuted under four different legislative enactments, all

providing a variety of penalties. Under the EP Act a fine of not less than ten

thousand dollars and no more than fifty thousand dollars; under the Municipal

and District Councils Act a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars is provided

for; under the Collection and Disposal of Waste By-laws a similar fine of not more

than ten thousand dollars exists; and under the Summary Jurisdiction Offences

Act a fine of seven thousand dollars is provided for.

The varying provisions result in at least 4 agencies being capable of the

regulation of a single activity. The prosecutions for littering can be conducted by

the Police, The EPA and the M&CC, and the Environmental and Sanitation

Section. This lack of cohesion can contribute to the lack of enforcement under

any of these provisions. Other institutions still come into play when one examines

the littering of waterways and roads. There is an obvious overlap and lack of

coordination and cohesion.

The strongest sanctions can actually be found under the provision of the

City Government Bylaws which provide for imprisonment of three months for

Failure to comply with the By-laws.

It must be noted that provisions for private prosecutions are possible

under the Summary Jurisdiction Act CAP 8:02, particularly for the offences

committed mainly in ‘town’. This provision can be invoked if a person is affected

by the offence of littering, and adds yet another avenue of enforcement.

It should be noted that the policy imperative 4 under this head includes

legislative and legal requirements to support the compliance with standards, and

a separation of the role of monitoring from that of enforcement, but nevertheless

empowering agencies to compel compliance and exact penalties 5 . A key in this

process is the rigorous enforcement of the provisions of the EP Act 6 with EPA

playing a critical role in the monitoring and enforcement of standards. This

appears to be in conflict with the objectives of the Action Plan above. Reference

2.2 at paragraph 5.iv.52 sees the environmental regulatory functions of all the

sector agencies being transferred to the EPA. These conflicts in the policy

approaches should also be addressed.

An issue which should be examined under this section, is the extent to

which the EPA can monitor and sanction the Municipalities. This arises

particularly with regard to the environmental consequences of waste disposal.

The EP Act does not make special mention of municipalities, or create any

4 The National Environment action Plan 2001-2005 Pages 35 to 37.

5 This objective is laudable , however the autonomous levy of a fine will be contrary to

certain fundamental rights guaranteed by the constitution.

6 The Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy (Reference 2.2) at Page 33 Repeated at

paragraph 5.iv.1 of the National Development Strategy Reference 2.1 page 55

42


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

exemption for them in the discharge of their functions. It seeks to place its

obligations on the person responsible, who is defined to be ‘in relation to any

project, enterprise, construction or development, includes any person who owns,

operates, or exercises economic power or control over or at whose order or on

whose behalf the project, enterprise, construction or development will be or, as

the case may be, is being undertaken’.

Given the fact that performing the functions and other duties of waste

disposal is left entirely to the discretion of the Municipality of the NDC, it is

suggested that they will fall squarely within the definition highlighted above. This

being so municipalities can be held accountable for their activities under the EP

Act. Out side the Act it is their duty to perform their functions in an

environmentally responsible manner. Failure in this regard can result in fines and

other penalties under the EP Act.

43


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.4 TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT SERVICES

2.4.1 Solid Waste Classification

The Guyanese legislation does not have a complete referential framework to

classify solid waste. However, according to the the Public Health Department at

the Georgetown Municipality (Ref 4.11), the following types of waste are

recognized:

• General domestic

• Commercial

• Industrial Processes

• Construction / Demolition

• Trees / Wood

• Street and Drain Cleaning

• Abattoir and Market

The EPA´s document “Criteria for the identification and approval of landfill sites

for solid waste disposal in Guyana” consider two clasifications: i) municipal solid

waste which includes non-hazardous waste generated in households,

commercial and business establishments, institutions and light industrial process

wastes, agricultural wastes and sewage sludge (USEPA, 1996) and ii) special

waste which include hazardous wastes, ship generated waste, clinical waste and

aircraft waste.

2.4.2 Solid Waste Generation

Table 2.4.1 shows the per capita generation and total generation in the six

municipalities of Guyana. According to what is shown in Figure 2.4.1, the smaller

per capita generation corresponds to the Municipality of Anna Regina and the

bigger one to the Municipality of Rose Hall. Georgetown per capita generation is

the second bigger one in Guyana. This per capita generation figures where

calculated on the basis of the available information included in the Preliminary

Diagnostic of Solid Wastes Management in Guyana (Ref 3.16). As it can be

seen, some figures for the waste per capita generation are unexpectedly high;

they need to be appropriately confirmed, specially the per capita generation of

44


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Note: All the analytic results shown in this Chapter and in most of this document

are based on data and information given to the consultants through personal

interviews or has been extracted from the documents listed in the References.

Given the short time allowed for the preparation of this first draft of the Sector

Analysis the information thus obtained could not be properly screened or

verified. For example the reported solid waste weekly generations in the

municipalities are personal estimates reported by the local authorities and not

the statistical results of weighing the refuse during one week as international

standards demand. This imprecise information induces errors not only in the

technical aspects but also influences the estimates of costs and unit costs in

the financial and economic Chapter. It is therefore strongly recommended that a

weighing and characterisation programme (including determinations of

moisture, density, and other parameters) be immediately started (timeframe

estimate is 45 days for Georgetown and 10 additional days per municipality).

Rose Hall and Corriverton, which are small towns (8000 and 15700 inhabitants

respectively) with a per capita generation of 1.786 kg/inhab./day and 1.274

kg/inhab./day correspondingly. Some explanation for these figures could be that

some people in these towns work on their premises and have waste producing

animals (cows, chicken, etc.). Another probable cause may well be that the total

weekly amount reported by local authorities has been grossly overestimated.

Table 2.4.1 Municipal solid waste generation

Population centre

Population

(thousands)

Per capita (a)

(kg/inhab./day)

Waste generation

ton/week

Total

ton/day

Anna Regina 5700 0.226 9 1.29

Corriverton 15700 1.274 140 20.00

Georgetown 177900 1.392 1734 247.71

Linden (*) 33500 0.239 56 8.00

New Amsterdam 21700 0.790 120 17.14

Rose Hall 8000 1.786 100 14.29

BV./Triumph NDC 37 5.29

(a) Calculated on the basis of the weekly waste generation reported in the Preliminary

diagnostic of solid wastes management in Guyana (Ref 3.16).

(*) Municipality of Linden. October, 2003.

45


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure 2.4.1 Per capita generation in the six municipalities of Guyana

2.0

1.786

Per capita generation

(kg/inhab./day)

1.6

1.2

0.8

0.4

0.226

0.239

0.790

1.274

1.392

0.0

Anna Regina

Linden

New Amsterdam

Corriverton

Georgetown

Rose Hall

Ref 3.16

The Solid Waste Management Department of Georgetown Municipality

prepares a monthly report with the clearances made per area per month. Table

2.4.2 shows a summary of the number of loads and solid waste quantity for July,

August and September 2003. According to these figures, the average solid waste

collection in Georgetown would be 270.64 t/d, which is even higher than what is

shown in table 2.4.1. However, as there is no a weighbridge at the landfill site, it

is difficult to verify the information. The Solid Waste Management Department at

the Mayor and City Council tried to start weighing the collection vehicles but the

height of these vehicles exceeds the height of the available weighbridge and they

can not go under the scale. At present the MCC is planning to install a

weighbridge at Mandela landfill site and take it out to the new sanitary landfill to

be probably implemented at Eccles.

46


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.4.2 Quantity of SW collected in Georgetown, July to August 2003.

Mandela landfill site Incinerator Total

Number

of loads

Waste

quantity

(ton)

Number

of loads

Waste

quantity

(ton)

JULY 2003

Number

of loads

Waste

quantity

(ton)

M&CC vehicles 204 210 32 28 236 238

Night contractors 109 520 --- --- 109 520

Old Georgetown 196 786 --- --- 196 786

Area contractor 353 1730 --- --- 353 1730

Markets 59 570 --- --- 59 570

C.E. Vehicles 560 2210 20 20 580 2230

All other vehicles 1456 2473 65 52 1521 2525

2937 8499 117 100 3054 8599

AUGUST 2003

M&CC vehicles 203 210 26 24 229 234

Night contractors 104 530 --- --- 104 530

Old Georgetown 181 760 --- --- 181 760

Area contractor 320 1690 --- --- 320 1690

Markets 58 560 --- --- 58 560

C.E. Vehicles 460 2190 --- --- 460 2190

All other vehicles 1635 2974 94 68 1729 3042

2961 8914 120 92 3081 9006

SEPTEMBER 2003

M&CC vehicles 69 66 20 18 89 84

Daily contractors 38 76 16 16 54 92

Night contractors 107 540 --- --- 107 540

Old Georgetown 195 820 --- --- 195 820

Area contractor 346 1720 --- --- 346 1720

Markets 64 610 --- --- 64 610

C.E. Vehicles 362 1640 --- --- 362 1640

All other vehicles 1637 1718 89 70 1726 1788

2818 7190 125 104 2943 7294

TOTAL (3 months) 8716 24603 362 296 9078 24899

DAILY AVERAGE 95 267.42 4 3.22 99 270.64

Source: Solid Waste Management Department. Georgetown Municipality. October 2003.

47


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.4.2 Solid Waste Composition

There is little information about solid waste composition in Guyana, especially for

the municipalities and NDC’s outside Georgetown. Most information on the solid

waste characteristics belongs to Georgetown, as it is shown in Figures 2.4.2 and

2.4.3. According to Figure 2.4.2, where a description of the total solid wastes

stream is shown, the bigger amount of solid wastes generated in Georgetown

corresponds to domestic waste (50%), followed by street and drain cleaning,

commercial, trees/wood, abattoir and market, industrial processes and

construction/demolition wastes respectively.

Figure 2.4.2 Description of Total Solid Waste Stream in Georgetown

Abattoir and Market

6%

Industrial Processes

5%

Construction /

Demolition

4%

Trees / wood

8%

Commercial

10%

General domestic

50%

Street and Drain

Cleaning

17%

Ref 4.11

Figure 2.4.3 shows the composition of municipal solid wastes in Georgetown. As

it can be seen, the predominant component is organic waste such as food and

garden and yard wastes, which together represents 51.3% of the total amount.

48


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure 2.4.3 Composition of municipal solid waste in Georgetown

35.0

29.8

30.0

Percentage (%)

25.0

20.0

15.0

10.0

5.0

21.5

14.0

10.0

9.4

6.1

4.4

2.4 2.4

0.0

Food

Garden & yard

Paper

Textiles

Plastic

Dirt & rocks

Metal

Wood

Glass & ceramics

Component

Ref 4.11

Figure 2.4.4 shows a comparison of the solid waste composition in

Georgetown, with respect to the socioeconomic conditions: Low/Middle-Income

Residential Waste, Middle-Income Residential/Commercial Waste and High-

Income Residential Waste (Source: Brown, Vence and Associates. 2000). It can

be seen that low/middle-income residential sector generates more food waste

than the other two sectors. On the contrary, larger amounts of plastic waste are

generated by middle-income and high-income residential sectors, as it is

expected according to studies performed in other Latin American and the

Caribbean countries. Numbers for this graph are shown in table 2.4.3.

49


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure 2.4.4 Waste composition in Georgetown, according to the income level

40

35

Composition (%)

30

25

20

15

10

5

0

Food

Plastic

Cardboard

Other paper

Textile

Metal

Glass

Other organics

Others

Special waste

High-Income Residential Waste

Middle-Income Residential/Commercial Waste

Low/Middle-Income Residential Waste

Source: Brown, Vence and Associates. 2000.

Table 2.4.3 Waste composition in Georgetown

Low/Middle-Income

Residential Waste

Composition (%)

Middle-Income

Residential/Commer

cial Waste

High-Income

Residential Waste

Food 37 27 27

Plastic 11 18 17

Cardboard 14 11 11

Other paper 11 12 14

Textile 5 8 7

Metal 2 4 3

Glass 2 2 2

Other organics 4 3 2

Others 1 1 1

Special waste 13 14 16

100 100 100

2.4.3 Storage

50


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Although there are some regulations related to the solid waste storage, according

to what has been seen, household and outdoor storage do not follow any

scheme in Georgetown or other population centres of Guyana. As stated by the

regulations:

“The receptacle to be provided by the occupier of every premise shall be

movable, made of material to be prescribed by the Council, and of a capacity not

exceeding, in the case of dwelling-houses, three cubic feet, and in the case of

business premises and hotels, twelve cubic feet”. The receptacles also should be

provided with a well-fitting cover.

Later on, another regulation on solid waste storage came into place, changing

the size of receptacles from three to six cubic feet, but it does not specify the

type of waste (household, commercial, etc.). It only talks about the receptacle

characteristics:

“The receptacle for waste shall be of metal, plastic or other suitable impervious

material approved by the City Council, water tight, movable, of such size as may

be easily handled by one person when full or of a capacity not exceeding six

cubic feet and kept clean, disinfected and properly covered with a well fitting

cover when not required to be opened.” The Official Gazette. Legal Supplement.

B 5 th Dec., 1981.

a) Georgetown

Some characteristics of the solid waste storage in Georgetown (Ref 7.1)

are that usually households store wastes in a 45 – gallon metal drum with close

fitting cover or other suitable container according to public health regulations.

These containers are placed near to the front of the premises or where they can

be easily accessed by collection operators. Business houses store their wastes

in plastic bags and in metal containers called skips. Communal skips are

provided by the municipality and contractors are temporarily installed at streets

corners and market places where wastes accumulate in large volumes.

Storage of wastes poses a problem for the City Council. Middle and highincome

householders abide by the rules but certain householders of tenanted

dwellings especially in depressed areas allow wastes to pile up around dwellings.

There is also excessive littering in the said area.

Some of the contractors in charge of the solid waste collection and

transportation in Georgetown express that some people store waste in old

refrigerators, others in barrels, which makes difficult and causes delays to the

collection service. It was informed also that some times workers collect bulky

wastes in the compactor trucks, even when they have been told not to do this,

because it deteriorates the compaction system.

51


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

As indicated by the SWMD, 75% of the residences in Georgetown have

some kind of bins or receptacles for the solid waste storage; 80% of these have

oil drums (55 gallons) and the other 20% have different kind of receptacles, like

plastic bins or drums.

Another difficulty related to the collection service informed by the

contractors is that in some areas the collectors have to go into the yards to pick

the garbage up, which also causes delays and some times problems with the

neighbourhood when items from their property are lost.

The lack of outdoor public waste bins causes dispersion of domestic

wastes thrown by people all over the city. This is especially critical at the seawall,

where solid wastes are disposed along the shore. Also solid wastes

accumulations observed in urban areas-roads, informal markets and others,

produce an increase in the macro and micro rate of vectors as well as bad

odours, toxic smokes generated by the in situ burning of the waste.

Informal markets along roads and free spaces generate solid wastes

(most of them organic wastes) that create problems to the collection system as

they do not have a proper storage system. Rainwater drainage is also used for

solid waste disposal all over the city. Accumulated wastes clog drainage canals

rapidly.

Some main streets in Georgetown have public waste bins, which are

metal or plastic drums (55 gallons). Plastic drums are fixed to the floor, which

makes very difficult the waste bin collection system; therefore, wastes are burned

inside the plastic drum, causing its consequent deterioration and unpleasant

aspect. Metal drums are excessively heavy to be lifted by one man and difficult to

handle, consequently wastes are also burned inside. As a result of these waste

bins characteristics and management system, both of them (plastic and metal

drums) cause bad aspect to the surrounded environment.

b) Other municipalities and NDC’s

Solid waste storage at other municipalities and NDC’s outside

Georgetown seems to be even in a more random situation than in Georgetown.

There is no much information about it, but it could be stated that household and

outdoor storage do not follow any scheme nor is complying with the regulations.

52


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.4.4 Street Sweeping

a) Georgetown

Sweeping is carried out in central Georgetown, in the commercial areas

and some non-commercial areas. The Solid Waste Management Department

informs that routes for sweeping were established in Georgetown approximately

8 years ago. There are 13 routes and each one covers a length of 1 ¼ to 1 ½

miles.

Workers involved in this task are sweepers and weepers. Weepers are in

charge of parks and gardens maintenance and also drains and channels

cleaning. Table 2.4.4 shows some information about sweeping characteristics in

Georgetown. According to the figures given by the Solid Waste Management

Department, the distance covered by each sweeper is 2.2 km/day.

The recommended range for the number of sweepers per a thousand

inhabitants is 0.50 to 0.40 (Ref. 4.9) and in Georgetown this value is just 0.06

sweepers/1000 inhabitants. This is probably due to the lack of sidewalks that

impedes proper sweeping.

Table 2.4.4 Sweeping characteristics in Georgetown

Parameter

Value

Sweepers 10

Weeders 2

Working time (hr/day) 6.5

Distance covered by each sweeper (km/day) 2.2

Sweepers / 1000 inhabitants 0.06

Source: Solid Waste Management Department. M&CC. October 2003.

There are also Anti-litter Wardens who are attached to the Solid Waste

Management Department. They are in charge of seeing that householders do

have proper refuse bins, and that citizens do not litter.

b) Other municipalities and NDC’s

There is not enough information about street sweeping in other municipalities

and NDC´s. According to Table 2.2.1, sweeping is carried out in the

Municipalities of New Amsterdam, Rose Hall, Corriverton and Linden. The

Municipality of Anna Regina does not have a street sweeping system.

Table 2.4.5 shows some sweeping characteristics in Linden. It can be seen that

the number of sweepers per a thousand inhabitants is 0.18, which is under the

53


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

recommended range of 0.50 to 0.40 where in paved areas with adequate

sidewalks (Ref. 4.9).

Table 2.4.5 Sweeping characteristics in Linden

Parameter

Value

Sweepers 6

Area covered by each sweeper (sq. yards) 200

Sweepers / 1000 inhabitants 0.18

Source: Municipality of Linden. Patterson, Floyd. October 2003.

2.4.5 Collection and Transportation

a) Georgetown

In accordance with the Sector Analysis Preliminary diagnostic, problems

on the solid waste collection and transportation would have been developed due

to the number of areas taken in by the City Council with the coming into being of

the Greater Georgetown, and the inadequate amount of vehicles available for

refuse collection. It meant that the vehicles that operated in the old Georgetown,

together with the seven (7) other vehicles from the Village Council had to be

deployed into the new areas. This was done at the cost of the old Georgetown

areas receiving lower collection frequency. Another problem involved the terrible

condition of the roads in the outlying areas and the damage that was done to the

vehicles, especially the trucks.

For the purposes of solid waste management, Georgetown is divided into

eleven (11) groups. Currently private contractors account for the collection and

transportation of 95% of the wastes generated in the city. The city council deals

with the remaining 5%, which corresponds to medical facilities, markets, abattoir

and skips in certain areas. Table 2.4.6 shows the operator in charge of collection,

the frequency of collection and the type of vehicle for each area.

54


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.4.6 Characteristics of the collection service in Georgetown

Area Operator Frequency

(times/week)

Quantity & type of

vehicle (*)

C O TT

Group N° 1 Cevons Waste Management Inc. 1 1

Group N° 2 Puran Bros. 1 1

Group N° 3 Puran Bros. 1 1

Group N° 4 Didco Trading Co. Ltd. 1 1

Group N° 5 Didco Trading Co. Ltd. 1 1

Group N° 6 Cevons Waste Management Inc. 1 1

Group N° 7 Guy Waste Disposal 1 2

Group N° 8 Cevons Waste Management Inc. 2 2

Group N° 9 Puran Bros. 2 2

Group N° 10 Puran Bros. 2

Market Dartmouth – Skips / Cevons 6 1

Market Dartmouth – Skips / Cevons 7 1

Market Puran Bros. 7 1

Abattoir, Hospitals Mayor & City Council 6 2 1 1

Lamaha (part)

Palms, GSPCA.

(*) C: Compactor truck; O: Open truck; TT: Trailer truck

Source: Solid Waste Management Department. Georgetown Municipality. October 2003.

Most of the collection vehicles in the solid waste sector, prior to the

privatisation, were donations from Korea, Germany and the Great Britain.

Consequently, most of the collection vehicles used in Georgetown were imported

compactors vehicles, designed to transport waste of low density waste (100-150

kg/m 3 ), while the waste of Guyana, like in other countries in the Region of Latin

America and the Caribbean, has densities between 200-350 kg/m 3 . At present,

private contractors also import compactors vehicles. By 1990 (Ref 3.16) the

M&CC was operating:


‣ 2 Isuzu trucks

‣ 6 Mercedes Benz compactors

‣ 1 KIA tractor

‣ 3 KIA trucks

‣ 4 KIA Compactors and

‣ 6 German tractors with trailers

The need of outsourcing the collection and transportation services started

in the early 1990’s, because of the gradual deterioration of the vehicles, abetted

by a minimum preventive or corrective maintenance. Up to now, 95 % of the

services is provided by private contractors, as it has been mentioned before.

Table 2.4.7 shows the collection frequency for different areas in Georgetown.

55


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.4.7 Collection frequency in Georgetown (Ref 4.11)

Zone

Collection frequency

(times per week)

Outlying areas 1

Central Georgetown 2

Commercial areas 6

Markets, Abattoir, Hospitals,

Medi-care centre

7

Regarding waste collection in nearby NDC´s (Ref 4.12) the situation is that there

is no formal waste collection or disposal service within six (6) or 40% of the

NDC´s. Within these communities householders have little option other than to

burn or bury their waste within their own premises, or dump it at numerous, and

often highly visible, informal locations within their respective communities, such

as vacant lots, roadsides and drainage canals. The collection of waste by NDC´s,

is made via tractor and trailer in six of the councils, with final disposal within

community dumpsites. Of these, only the NDC of Eccles regularly transports its

waste to the Municipality’s disposal site at Mandela Drive. Further, due to severe

financial constraints, many NDC´s only collect waste from households once

every two weeks. This inadequate collection frequency again results in an

excessive amount of illegal dumping; and

The collection of waste by the private sector, via truck and trailer and

horse and cart, is made in three (3) of the NDC´s, with final disposal at

community dumpsites. Again, the frequency of this service, often on a twice per

month basis, is not frequent enough, and is associated with a considerable

amount of illegal dumping.

As indicated by the SWMD (M&CC), a time and motion study for

establishing collection routes was performed in Georgetown, approximately 8

years ago. Contractors comply with these routes, but they need to be reexamined.

With regards to equipment, according to the Transport supervisor the

M & CC covers its collection/disposal tasks with 1 rented vehicle and one tractor

bought in 2001. In addition, it hires 3 bulldozers and one hymac for solid waste

disposal at the Mandela landfill site.

b) Other municipalities and NDC’s

Most of the population lacking collection service in the NDC’s disposes

and burns wastes without any sanitary control. Other Municipalities in the

meantime carry out only rudimentary operations. Most citizens in fact continue to

make their own arrangements for waste disposal (burning, burial, etc.). In Rose

Hall wastes are collected every working day, Monday to Friday.

56


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

With regards to equipment Linden Town Council reports 3 tractors, 5

trailers, 2 trucks, 1 backhoe and 1 back cap. On some occasions the solid waste

section has had to rent out equipment to meet cash requirements. Proper

rehabilitation and maintenance is needed for the existing fleet, which is

considered sufficient by the Town Council officials to meet any increase demand

for its use. Corriverton Town Council reports 1 truck and 2 tractors/trailers and is

utilizing its current equipment for other activities apart from solid waste

management. The Council reports currently covering 50% of the total municipal

solid waste generation, with an average once a week home calls. Two of the

municipality’s dumpsites have been condemned by the EPA and the last one

does not fit the standards. The current five-year plan envisages substantial

improvements in coverage, largely due to increased house calls (to twice a

week), investments in equipment and number of employees by 100%.

Table 2.4.8 shows the collection coverage in the six municipalities of

Guyana and in one NDC (BV./Triumph). These figures where calculated on the

basis of the information included in the Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid Wastes

Management in Guyana, and need to be revised, especially in Anna Regina,

New Amsterdam and BV./Triumph NDC, where reported collection coverage

range from 95 to 100%.

Table 2.4.8 Collection coverage in some population centres of Guyana

Population centre

Generation

(ton/week)

Collection

(ton/week)

Collection coverage

(%)

Rose Hall 100 62 62

Linden (*) 56 45.5 81

Corriverton 140 117 84

Georgetown 1734 1500 87

New Amsterdam 120 117 98

Anna Regina 9 9 100

BV./Triumph NDC 37 35 95

Ref 3.16

(*) Municipality of Linden. October, 2003.

Figure 2.4.5 shows graphically, the collection coverage in these population

centres, which, as it has been mentioned, seem to be high, taking into

account the solid waste management problems.

57


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Statistically valid generation and characterization of wastes, need to be

undertaken in Georgetown and in a number of Municipalities and NDC´s, in order

to know accurately some characteristics as the per capita generation, total

generation, density and moisture, among others. This information is strictly

necessary to design efficiently all stages of a solid waste management system:

storage, collection and transportation, treatment and final disposal.

2.4.6 Treatment

Information on solid wastes treatment is available mostly for the

Municipality of Georgetown, where some incineration, composting and recycling

are performed in addition to open landfilling.

Table 2.6.2: Treatment and final disposal of sw in Georgetown (ton)

Type 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000

Landfill

Incineration

Recycling

Composting

60,418

1,320

367

1.4

63,500

1,152

367

5.2

65,000

1,200

425

3.6

66,514

1,272

480

2.5

67,051

1,338

500

4.3

81,100

1,285

535

0.6

Source: Mayor and City Council’s (2002)

a) Incineration

An old incinerator, built in 1952, exists inside the area of the Solid Waste

Management Department, Georgetown, about 1 mile away from Mandela landfill

site. This incinerator malfunctions seriously and it is now in a decrepit state (Ref

3.16). On December 7, 1988 an inspection of the facility found that it should be

terminated immediately because of its poor condition. Today it is still in operation

functioning at less than 10% of its capacity. The continued use of this piece of

equipment means that waste (all essentially hazardous) is not managed

efficiently. These disposal methods have created serious environmental issues

that in turn have grave concerns for public health.

Wastes that are burned in this facility are:

• Medical waste

• Abattoir waste

• Expired pharmaceuticals and illicit drugs

• Aircraft waste

58


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure 2.4.5 Collection Coverage in some population centers

Collection coverage (%)

100

90

80

70

60

50

40

30

20

62

81 84

87

95

98

100

10

0

Rose Hall

Linden

Corriverton

Georgetown

BV./Triumph NDC

New Amsterdam

Anna Regina

Ref 3.16

The facility is not environmentally friendly, it does not have a secondary

pirolitic chamber or a gas scrubber, nor a particulate matter retention system and

the chimney is broken (its height is lower than it was initially). It comprises

several combustion chambers, but now only one chamber is working. At the time

the incinerator was properly functioning, wastes were discharged at the top. Now

they are directly placed into the combustion chamber at the lower level.

Wastes are burned daily during the afternoon in order to avoid problems

with the nearby schools because of the smoke, fumes and particulate matter.

According to the characteristics observed, required temperatures for a complete

and safe destruction of hazardous solid waste are not reached. It would be

convenient to verify the operational parameters such as retention time and

temperature. It has been estimated that 1,285 ton of waste was incinerated in the

year 2000

b) Composting

The Municipal and City Council, Georgetown, was carrying out an

experimental composting project using market refuse, wastes from the abattoir

and street cleaning. Wastes were crushed by a bulldozer and then placed in

59


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

windrows. After decomposition the compost was distributed to the Promenade

Gardens. Research is being developed with a view to expand the process

making it a revenue earner. The MCC has also begun to teach the technique to

schools and small community groups.

c) Recycling

While some degree of recycling already occurs, mainly through the

pickers/sorties at the municipal landfill site in Georgetown and some waste

collectors working with private contractors, this is still highly disorganized and

does not seem to extend much outside of Georgetown (Table 2.6.2). There are

odd cases where collections of recyclables occur as indicated by the proprietors

of C & R Enterprises 7 , but the cost of transporting these to the city, as well as the

low volumes of recyclable material, militate against this activity being viable

outside of Georgetown.

c.1) Georgetown

Formal and informal recycling is carried out in the Municipality of Georgetown.

Informal recycling is performed at Mandela landfill site, but there are also some

private enterprises that collect, buy and/or process solid wastes for recycling

purposes. According to the Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid Wastes Management

in Guyana, the Mayor and City Council is currently negotiating with small

entrepreneurs to invest in the recycling of plastics.

Among the enterprises that carry out recycling activities in Georgetown are:

Caribbean Container Inc.

Caribbean Container Inc., a private enterprise, owns an old corrugated recycling

plant located in Farm, East Bank Demerara, Georgetown. This recycling plant is

designed to process 50 ton/day of old corrugated cardboard in order to produce

35 ton/day of new cardboard, but is currently receiving only 130 ton/month of raw

material, including the amount of imported waste cardboard (50% of raw material

is imported from Trinidad). Because of this, the recycling plant operates only 10

to 12 days per month.

Caribbean Container Inc. started working three years ago, and is actively

operating one year ago. Staffs from this enterprise inform that they put containers

in some places of the city to encourage cardboard recycling, but these containers

have been removed from their locations by unknown people. Costs of buying raw

material are:

7 This entity acts as an intermediary to purchase glass, metals and cardboard from stores and the waste

pickers at the Mandela landfill site which are then resold.

60


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

- Cardboard delivered to Caribbean Container Inc.: GY $ 12.00 per

kilogram (approx. 0.062 US$).

- Cardboard collected by Caribbean Container Inc.: GY $ 8.00 per

kilogram (approx. 0.041 US$).

Caribbean Container Inc. employs 50 – 60 people, which should have

basic mechanical knowledge. 60% of the manufactured cardboard boxes are

exported mainly to Surinam and Trinidad and 40% of them are sold to the local

market. The manufactured products are tested in a quality control lab; some of

the controlled parameters are strength, water resistance and moisture.

This enterprise also prints cardboard boxes according to the customers

requirements.

Wastes from the manufacturing process are handled and disposed inside

the facility. Solid wastes comprise some plastics, Styrofoam, small metals, waste

paper, among others, that are disposed on the ground, at the back of the facility.

Liquid wastes go to a small pond and then are discharged to the sewerage.

Envirotec Recycling Inc.

This enterprise collects post-industrial plastics (crates and damaged PET

bottles, HDPE, LDPE, PP), chips them in small pieces and exports them mainly

to Canada and India, an average of 40 ton/month. At present they are preparing

for the second phase, which would be collecting post-consumers plastic bottles.

To this end they are considering the installation of centres where people would

sell their plastics, as well as retailers on the streets, with cars, horses or any

available transportation, who would buy plastic bottles as it happens now with

glass bottles.

Envirotec Recycling Inc. has two chipping machines located directly into

the facilities of its clients: Banks DIH and DDL, with a capacity of 1500 lb/day

each. It is a subsidiary of Trus Enterprise Plastic Consultant in Ontario, Canada.

Trus Enterprise main activities are to buy scrap plastics, surplus of obsolete

material & used equipment and also sell regrinds, repro, virgin material, new and

used equipment. Other projects that Envirotec Recycling has slated are:

recycling of used tires, batteries, lubricating oils, paper, etc.

C&R Enterprise

This enterprise recycles glass bottles, cardboard, aluminium and copper. It is

planning to recycle plastic bottles as well, but they have not started yet. The

average amount of recyclable materials collected and sold, and its respective

destination are:

61


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

o Glass bottles: 500 ton/year, exported to Trinidad.

o Cardboard: 15 – 20 ton/week, sold to Caribbean Container Inc.

o Aluminium: 100 ton/year, exported to England.

o Copper: 100 ton/year, exported to England.

C&R enterprise hires trucks and collects recyclable wastes from all over

Georgetown (workshops, stores), and mostly from Mandela landfill site. Another

interesting fact about this enterprise is that they buy recyclable materials from

people that go directly to their facility. Prices for these materials are:

Material

Price

Cardboard (GY $/pound) 2.75

Aluminum (GY $/pound) 20.00

Copper (GY $/pound) 40.00

Glass bottles (GY $/truck load) 4000 – 5000

Plastic (GY $/pound) 3 – 4

c.2) Other Municipalities and NDC’s

There is very little information about recycling activities in other

municipalities and NDC’s outside Georgetown. According to the Analytical Report

on Regional Evaluation of Solid Waste Management Services in Guyana, only

two municipalities (besides Georgetown) report informal worker activity:

- Linden: 6 males and 3 females waste pickers.

- New Amsterdam: only about 4 persons are involved in waste

picking.

2.4.7 Final Disposal

There is a lack of understanding about the sanitary landfill concept both

among officials of the NDC’s/Municipalities and people. A solid waste landfill is

perceived as a location for the “open dumping of garbage”.

The criteria for the identification and approval of landfill sites for solid

waste disposal in Guyana established by EPA should be re-examined. It is

stated, for example, that there should be a thick layer of clay soil between the

landfill and any aquifer found below it, but it does not specify what is considered

a thick layer and its required permeability.

62


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

A selection of proposed areas to implement sanitary landfills was carried

out after conducting preliminary evaluation studies in forty-two locations of

Regions 2 to 7. Funds for this project were provided by UNDP under the

Education Awareness and Capacity Building Program.

As several of the proposed sites for sanitary landfills do not satisfy the

initial screening criteria, an option for the solid waste disposal would be the

development of facilities to serve several adjacent NDC’s; thus optimizing the

resources used for solid waste management. Implementation of manual sanitary

landfills for small localities should be evaluated (most of the NDC´s).

a) Georgetown

The current final disposition site in Georgetown, Mandela landfill site, does

not present technical and sanitary conditions. This site is surrounded by drainage

canals and does not have linings, soil cover or gas control. Leachate resulting

from the organic matter decomposition directly goes to the canals and it is most

likely contaminating the groundwater. In addition, there are residential properties

only a few meters from the boundary of the site.

On occasion Mandela landfill site burns, set on fire by incoming hot ashes

or the site’s waste pickers. The fires, when they occur, are difficult to put out

because of the lack of daily soil cover and lack of methane gas control (Ref. 4.3).

This disposal site, while now an open dump, was originally advertised and

operated as a demonstration sanitary landfill. During its first two years of

operation, study tours and university classes where brought to the site for

education about a sanitary landfill. The subsequently poor operation of this

landfill now creates a negative climate for public acceptance of any future

disposal site (Ref. 4.3).

Equipment: Mandela landfill site has four heavy machineries: 3 bulldozers

and 1 backhoe excavator. The problem of finding a waste disposal site in

Georgetown, according to the Public Health Department (Ref 4.11), was plagued

by certain problems:

• There is absolutely no area in Georgetown which is not populated.

• The council had been using wastes to fill unused canals, cover

swamps and raise the height of play grounds which were usually under

flooding.

• A site will have to be found outside the Council’s jurisdiction and if

found the cost of establishing an environmentally safe one would be

prohibitive for Council. The Mandela site, begun as a temporary site

with very little land filling procedures. The process involved depositing,

spreading and compacting. There is little soil cover applied, but there is

daily spraying to control flies.

63


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

• The Mandela landfill site, which is currently being expanded from ten (10)

to fifteen (15) acres, does produce problems, including the following Ref

3.16):

i) Pollution caused by foul odours which emanate regularly

ii) Malathion chemical regularly sprayed to kill rodents and vermin

resulting in further environmental degradation

iii) Contamination of ground and surface water by leachate; which

goes, through the channels, to Demerara River.

iv) The deposit of ship-generated wastes and the negative effects

v) Sand deposits for concrete construction overflowing into the streets

and/or in drains blocking them.

vi) Smoke from fires at the landfill site affects asthmatics and persons

with chronic respiratory illnesses.

However, no epidemiological studies have been undertaken to measure

the effect of solid waste mismanagement on the health of citizens. Regarding

pesticides spraying, according to what was informed, during the rainy season is

performed every day, and during other seasons it is carried out every two days or

every week. Throughout the field visit no flies were observed in the landfill site as

the rainy season had not yet begun.

In the planning stage is a modern landfill site to be located at Eccles, just

outside the southern boundary of Greater Georgetown, on the East Bank of the

Demerara River. The proposed operation will occupy sixty acres at start and 300

acres in total. Its development is expected to cost some US$ 10 M. A brief

revision of the pre-investment project suggests that the total cost could be

substantially lowered by a detailed technical costs review. For instance, a US$

1.7 million are estimated for an incinerator that should not cost more than US$

0.5 million. The gas venting system and leachate management system costs

seem also to be too high, as well as the amount allocated for consultants and

supervision. The membrane thickness of 2mm seems to be far in excess of

common sanitary landfilling practice.

According to the Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid Waste Management in

Guyana, table 2.4.9 shows the quality of service, regarding public cleaning and

collection, drainage cleaning, final disposal and other (reserves):

64


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

TABLE 2.4.9 QUALITY IN TERMS OF EFFICIENCY, EFFECTIVENESS AND

SUSTAINABILITY

QUALITY OF SERVICE

Population

Centres

(Towns)

Collection

Public cleaning

and collection in

down town areas

Cleaning

Collection and

public cleaning

in poor/periurban

areas

Collection

Cleaning

Collection and

public cleaning

in high class

neighborhood

Collection

Cleaning

Drainage Cleaning

Final Disposal

Other Reserves

Georgetown 7 3 7 1 6 6 2 3 1

Anna Regina 3 4 - - 5 1 1

Linden 6 6 6 6 7 7 4 1 -

New Amsterdam 3 3 3 2 6 5 3 1 1

Rose Hall NR NR NR NR NR NR NR 1 NR

Corriverton NR NR NR NR NR NR NR 1 NR

Rating: Good (9-7); Satisfactory (6-4); Poor (3-1); NR – No Rating

Source: Ref 3.16

Other NDC’s within Region 4 do not have a solid waste management

system in place. Many people burn and bury their waste. Many of those persons

who have their own automobiles usually put their wastes in large plastic bags

and at least once weekly dump these bags at any place in the city of Georgetown

where they see a waste heap (Diagnostic Report on Analysis of Solid Waste

Management Services in Guyana, August 2003).

b) Other municipalities and NDC’s

There is no consistent information about final disposal issues in other

municipalities and NDC’s outside Georgetown. According to the Preliminary

Diagnostic of Solid Waste Management in Guyana:

• Anna Regina Town Council does not operate a solid waste section as

such. The town is said to generate 9 tons of waste weekly, which is

disposed of mostly by residents themselves by open dumping.

65


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

• The New Amsterdam Council operate an open dump site for disposal of

domestic, commercial and market waste at the rate of 100 tons per week,

according to the Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid Wastes Management in

Guyana. The Council’s incinerator is non-operational.

• Rose Hall Town (Region 5) disposes solid wastes in an open dump away

from the residential area, and some miles behind the market, utilizing

three tractors and trailers. They do not have incinerator. According to the

Diagnostic Report on Analysis of Solid Waste Management Services in

Guyana, August 2003, another population centre in Region 5, Blairmont

Sugar Estate, has a controlled dump site where sweepings and other

wastes are usually disposed. The controlled dump site has proper security

to prevent animals and scavengers from going onto the site.

• In Corriverton solid wastes are disposed of in an open dump site and

occasionally refuse is dumped into the Corentyne River. Like its entire

sister towns, it employs no Occupational Health and Safety personnel. Its

solid waste section comprises nine persons. The Council has recently

negotiated with Skeldon Estate to dispose of its waste at a landfill being

developed at that location.

• In Linden there is no sanitary or controlled landfill site. Open dumping is

taken place in abandoned mine pits. The Council employs 26 persons. As

indicated by the Municipality of Linden, there are two open dumps in this

Municipality; wastes are burned at the end of the day in these open

dumps.

2.4.8 Special Waste Management: Hospital and Industrial Waste

Special waste comprises hospital waste, industrial waste, ship generated

waste and aircraft waste. As in many other aspects of solid waste management

in Guyana, there is no enough data on the total amount of special waste

generated, its characteristics and the way in which it is handled. Most of the data

corresponds to the city of Georgetown.

a) Hospital waste

Health care institutions in Guyana are classified mainly in health posts,

health centres, district hospitals, regional hospitals, private hospitals and national

hospitals. In total, there are 326 of these health care centres distributed in the ten

Regions of Guyana, as it can be seen in table 2.4.10:

66


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.4.10 Total number of health institutions in Guyana by Region for

the year 2000

Item

National

Totals

Coastal regions

Hinterland regions

3 4 5 6 10 Total 1 2 7 8 9 Total

Health

posts

Health

centres

District

hospitals

Regional

hospitals

National

hospitals

182 25 10 2 1 13 51 31 17 15 16 52 131

112 13 25 14 24 10 86 4 12 3 4 3 26

18 3 0 2 3 2 10 3 1 1 1 2 8

4 1 0 0 1 1 3 0 1 0 0 0 1

5 0 4 0 1 0 5 0 0 0 0 0 0

Totals 321 42 39 18 30 26 155 38 31 19 21 57 166

% total

population

Private

hospitals

Private

doctors

100 13.3 41 7.1 19.7 5.4 86.5 2.5 6 2 0.8 2.1 13.4

5 --- 5 --- --- --- 5 --- --- --- --- --- ---

115 5 80 5 20 4 114 0 0 0 0 1 1

Total

2187 183 951 37 554 146 1871 85 107 56 28 40 316

beds

Source: National Health Plan 2003 – 2007. Ministry of Health. Guyana, 2002.

Having into account the total number of hospital beds for each Region in

Guyana shown in table 2.4.10, the total amount of hospital wastes generated

within each Region can be estimated, and also the amount of hazardous hospital

waste.

Considering a generation of 3 kg/bed/day as a mean for Latin America and

the Caribbean countries, from which, depending on the efficiency of hazardous

waste segregation, 25% - 40% are hazardous waste (Safe management of

wastes from health-care activities. WHO), the estimated amount of solid wastes

generated in health institutions of Region 1 to 10 is shown in table 2.4.11.

67


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.4.11 Estimated amount of hospital waste by Region

Total

number of

hospital

Hazardous waste

(kg/day)

(25% - 40%)

General waste (kg/day)

(75% - 60%)

beds 25% 40% 75% 60%

Total waste

(kg/day)

Region 1 85 63.75 102.00 191.25 153.00 255

Region 2 107 80.25 128.40 240.75 192.60 321

Region 3 183 137.25 219.60 411.75 329.40 549

Region 4 951 713.25 1141.20 2139.75 1711.80 2853

Region 5 37 27.75 44.40 83.25 66.60 111

Region 6 554 415.50 664.80 1246.50 997.20 1662

Region 7 56 42.00 67.20 126.00 100.80 168

Region 8 28 21.00 33.60 63.00 50.40 84

Region 9 40 30.00 48.00 90.00 72.00 120

Region 10 146 109.50 175.20 328.50 262.80 438

Total 2187 1640.25 2624.40 4920.75 3936.60 6561

According to this information, figure 2.4.6a shows the estimated hospital

waste generation by Region, considering, in the first case, that 25% of the total

amount of hospital solid waste is hazardous waste. On the other hand, figure

2.4.6b shows the same information considering that percentage of hazardous

waste would be 40%. It can be seen, from both figures, that Region 4 and Region

6 are the biggest hospital waste generators, achieving together almost 70% of

the total hospital solid waste in Guyana.

68


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

According to the Diagnostic Report on Analysis of Solid Waste

Management Services in Guyana, August 2003; most of the health care centres

in the Municipalities and NDC’s outside Georgetown burn their medical and other

wastes and then bury the ashes.

Figure 2.4.6a. Hospital waste generation by Region in Guyana

(25% hazardous waste)

7000

Waste generation (kg/day)

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

0

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6

2853

Region 7

1662

Region 8

Region 9

Region 10

6561

4921

1640

Total

total waste

hazardous waste

69


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure 2.4.6b Hospital waste generation by Region in Guyana

(40% hazardous waste)

7000

Waste generation (kg/day)

6000

5000

4000

3000

2000

1000

2853

68.8% of total

1662

6561

3937

2624

0

Region 1

Region 2

Region 3

Region 4

Region 5

Region 6

Region 7

Region 8

Region 9

Region 10

Total

total waste

general waste

hazardous waste

a.1)

Georgetown

Since two years ago the Mayor and City Council is giving support to

Georgetown Hospital, which is the city’s biggest hospital, in their solid waste

management system. As informed by Georgetown Hospital staff, this health-care

institution considers the following classification system for hospital wastes:

- Domestic waste: Office waste, dry waste, etc.

- Dietary: Kitchen waste, food.

- Infectious waste: Soiled dressings, pampers.

- Pathological and Special Wastes: Mortuary, main operating theatre,

laboratory waste. Sharps, syringes, X-ray films, etc.

Staff of Georgetown Hospital informed that there is a colour code to

storage each type of waste, as follows:

Type of waste

Domestic

Dietary

Pathological and special

Infectious

Colour

Black

White / clear

Red

Yellow

70


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

During the field visit to Georgetown Hospital, however, no red, yellow or

white plastic bags were seen in the wards. It was informed that there were no

red, yellow or white plastic bags in stock, and that when the specific colour coded

bags are not available (and black bags are available), then the specific wastes

are identified with the use of colour coded ties accordingly.

There are also rigid plastic red containers to storage sharps. These

containers are collected as biomedical waste and are incinerated. Some papers

and plastics which do not seem to be hazardous were seen inside these rigid

plastic containers, along with sharps.

Solid wastes are collected and removed from the various departments and

wards at least twice daily, during the following periods:

• 07:00 – 09:00 hr

• 13:00 – 15:00 hr

• 19:00 – 21:00 hr

According to the staff of Georgetown Hospital, domestic / dietary waste is

collected and transported by a private contractor at least once daily, based on

patient intake. Special, infectious and pathological wastes are collected and

removed daily by the Mayor and City Council, Solid Waste Department staff.

Small cars and containers are used to collect solid wastes from the wards

and transport them to the central intermediate storage area from where the waste

is picked up. According to what was informed these cars and containers are

washed every weekend and also in between when it is needed.

Table 2.4.12 shows information regarding the amount of bags or loads of

hospital waste collected by the Solid Waste Management Department of

Georgetown Municipality, in a number of health-care institutions, from January to

September, 2003, and the monthly average.

According to the information given at the Solid Waste Management

Department, each bag of hospital solid waste weighs approximately 20 pounds

and each load corresponds to 1.5 tons (approximately). In proportion to these

figures, the amount of hospital waste delivered to the Solid Waste Department at

Princess St. can be estimated, as shown in table 2.4.13.

71


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.4.12 Quantity of bags or loads collected at medical centres

in Georgetown

N° bags (or loads) per month at each medical

centre

Bags

Loads

Woodlands Hospital

Georgetown medical

centre - Prasad

hospital

Medical Art Centre

Rentokil

Georgetown

hospital

Georgetown

hospital

January 270 180 97 113 716 27

February 210 131 82 80 683 23

March 213 161 91 85 960 24

April 230 157 92 102 1213 28

May 235 171 91 78 1659 25

June 177 141 81 76 1194 29

July 144 168 85 93 1132 30

August 88 147 87 86 1383 29

September 103 157 94 79 1232 25

N° Bags (or loads)/month

(average, Jan to Sept )

186 157 89 88 1130 27

Source: Solid Waste Management Department. M&CC. October 2003.

Table 2.4.13 Amount of hospital solid waste delivered to the Solid Waste

Department

Quantity of hospital waste

lb/month ton/month ton/day

Woodlands Hospital (bags) 3720 1.691 0.056

Georgetown medical centre – Prasad

hospital (bags) 3140 1.427 0.048

Medical Art Centre (bags) 1780 0.809 0.027

Rentokil (bags) 1760 0.800 0.027

Georgetown hospital (bags) 22600 10.273 0.342

Georgetown hospital (loads) 40.500 1.350

TOTAL 55.5 1.850

72


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

According to table 2.4.13, Georgetown Hospital would be generating a

total amount of approximately 1.7 ton/day of solid wastes.

Hospital solid wastes described in table 12 are delivered to the Solid

Waste Management Department at Princess St. All hospital waste bags are

incinerated, and the loads are transported to Mandela landfill site, since they are

supposed to be non-hazardous solid waste. However, staff from the Solid Waste

Department informs that some bags from the loads are opened at random, to

confirm if they are actually non-hazardous solid waste.

a.2) Other municipalities and NDC’s

There is no information about solid wastes management in other

Municipalities and NDC’s. According to the Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid

Wastes in Guyana, the Municipality of New Amsterdam is in possession of an

incinerator but it is non-operational. As a consequence, the government-run New

Amsterdam Hospital is burning its hazardous waste in an open dump site, giving

rise to a number of health risks.

b) Industrial waste

There is not much information regarding industrial waste management in

Guyana. Regulations on the responsibilities of every national authority related

with the hazardous waste management (collection and transportation, treatment,

final disposal) are not clear. Specific written roles and responsibilities should be

included in these regulations.

Among the main industries in Guyana are: mining, sugar, rice, forestry

products and agriculture. Regarding the mining industry, it mainly consists of

bauxite and gold, but there is also diamonds production.

Other commodities that are produced in Guyana are (Statistical Bulletin. Bureau

of Statistics, in collaboration with UNICEF. September 2001):

- Food, beverage and tobacco (rum, beer, shandy, stock feed,

margarine, fish, prawns, small shrimp, poultry, etc.)

- Other manufacturing (paint, footwear, soap, etc.)

- Pharmaceuticals (liquids, tablets, ointments)

As reported in the Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid Waste Management in

Guyana, the bauxite and gold mining industries show the greatest signs of

environmental degradation. The sediments released in these operations are

transported in run-off and cause the siltation of streams and rivers. The process

73


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

of drying and calcining the bauxite, very frequently results in the escape of

fugitive dust from the kilns, accidental oil spillage, and the release of bauxite

tailings.

The Bauxite Mining Company, LINMINE, does not have a waste

management plan. Historically, non-hazardous industrial and domestic wastes

were disposed of in different areas throughout the facility. Oily wastewater is

discharged to the mine site draining ditches and eventually released into the

Demerara River. Waste oils are collected and burnt in kilns. There are large

accumulations of contaminated soils on site in different areas (Diagnostic Report

on Analysis of Solid Waste Management Services in Guyana. Guyana Advisory

Solid Waste Management Association – GASWMA, August, 2003).

Regarding gold production, the largest operator, Omai Gold Mines Limited

(OGML), uses a process of electrolytic recovery from a cyanide “solution”

prepared from crushed rock and saprolite. Other processes in gold mining are:

the so-called missile dredge, a driverless suction dredge, which operates mainly

along riverbanks for varying depths, often penetrating considerable distance in

accordance with the distribution of the deposits; and a land-based method of gold

recovery which essentially achieves the same results as dredge mining by using

a powerful water jet to create slurry from which the gold particles are recovered

in a manner analogous to that employed in dredge mining. Omai Gold Mines

Limited has in recent times been under much pressure from environmentalists

regarding the efficiency of its waste disposal system and the impact on the

surrounding population and environment.

According to the Diagnostic Report on Analysis of Solid Waste

Management Services in Guyana (Guyana Advisory Solid Waste Management

Association – GASWMA, August, 2003), there is no sanitary landfill, no controlled

landfill site at Omai Gold Mines Ltd., but waste (domestic and non-hazardous

waste) is collected daily, thrown into dug pits, and covered with waste rock.

Hazardous chemicals are stored in a special pond.

With respect to the sugar cane industry, the Guyana Sugar Corporation

(Guysuco) operates eight sugar factories. The total industry work force is about

twenty-one thousand (21,000). On all locations transportation of cane to the

factories is carried out by water transport. Regarding waste generation and

management, it should be noted that the Sugar Industry has always taken care of

its own waste.

The second most important agricultural industry in Guyana is the rice

industry, and it is the largest user of agricultural lands. Agricultural practices also

adversely affect the environment in several ways, one of which is the application

of chemical pesticides that are used without technical and sanitary measures.

74


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The forest industries sub-sector comprises mainly logging and sawmilling

operations. The Barama Company Limited is the largest operation in Guyana, but

there are at least five other large, timber operations. It is presumed that there is

an organised arrangement for the disposal of waste from these operations. The

wood treatment process requires chemicals for protecting wood from damage

caused by insects, moisture, and decay fungi. These chemicals have the

potential to affect adversely the local environment. Three primary methods of

wood treatment currently prevail: creosote pressure-treated wood,

pentachlorophenol pressure-treated wood, and inorganic arsenical pressuretreated

wood, such as chromate copper arsenate (CCA).

Regarding the wharf, wastes generated at this facility are mainly

comprised of expired products from cargo, which are taken to the incinerator.

There is a metal container for waste storage, which is lifted by a crane for the

solid wastes collection. The wharf is in charge of providing transportation to the

Princess St. incinerator, Solid Waste Management Department, Georgetown.

2.4.9 Private contractors of municipal and special solid waste

management

There are a number of private contractors who deal with municipal and special

solid waste management in Georgetown. Some of them are:

a) CNN Community Development Services.

Representative: Ms. Claire Mc. Lean.

Activities:

o Industrial waste management

o Hospital waste management

o Domestic waste management

As indicated by her representative, this private enterprise has more than

50 clients. Among them are:

o Demerara Distillers Ltd., DDL

o Sterling products

o Bounty Farm Ltd.

o TOPCO / TETRAPAK

o Hotel Tower

Equipment: four (4) trucks (three International trucks, one Mack truck), capacity:

6 ton each.

b) Franklin – Singh Disposal Services

Representative: Everall Franklin.

75


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Activities:

o Chemicals and oil spills management.

o Hazardous waste management.

o Sewerage and septic tank servicing.

o Water supply – Domestic and construction.

o Washing of buildings.

o Garbage collection.

o After party cleanups.

o Drain cleaning.

This enterprise used to work for the M&CC, but stopped four years ago.

As stated by its representative, it was because of the small and extremely erratic

payment received from the Municipality. Some of its clients are:

o Power Company.

o Beverage manufacturers: effluents management; oil spills and

chemicals spills management.

o Associated industries: pesticides residues management.

o USA Embassy.

o Caribbean Chemicals.

o Sanata Textiles Company.

o Shell V/LESS.

o Restaurants (3).

o Private households (12).

o Call-in customers (4).

The final disposal of these wastes is carried out in Mandela landfill site. Because

of their characteristics, they are supposed to be disposed in a separate area. The

amount of wastes managed by this enterprise is 9 m 3 /day approximately.

Equipment:

o 1 Garbage Dump Truck (shuttered), 6.5 m3

o 2 Sewerage tankers (3000 gallons and 1000 gallons respectively)

o 1 Water Tanker (1500 gallons)

o 1 Tractor & Trailer (5 m3).

c) Puran Bros. Disposal Service

Representative: Mr. Lakenauth Puran

Activities:

o Household waste management.

o Parapets waste management.

o Commercial waste management.

o Market waste management.

o

The main client of Puran Bros. Disposal Service is the Mayor & City

Council.

76


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Equipment: 8 compactor trucks (10 ton capacity each). These trucks have

been imported from England.

d) Envirotec Recycling Inc.

Representative: John Greaves

Activity:

o Plastic recycling.

Clients:

o Banks DIH.

o DDL

As it has been mentioned, this enterprise collects post-industrial plastics

(crates and damaged PET bottles), chips them in small pieces and exports

them mainly to Canada and India.

Equipment: Envirotec Recycling Inc. has two chipping machines located

directly in Banks DIH and DDL, with a capacity of 1000 to 1500 lb/day

each one.

e) Guywaste Disposal

Representative: Mr. Andrew Hunt

Activity:

o Domestic waste management.

o Construction / demolition waste management

o Parks & garden waste management

o Commercial waste management

Clients:

o MCC.

o Restaurants.

o Individuals.

Equipment:

o Dump truck, 5 ton capacity.

o Compactor truck, 10 ton capacity.

This enterprise performs 4 – 5 loads per day with the 5 ton dump truck

and 2 – 3 loads per day with the 10 ton compactor truck, in Group 7, which is the

largest single area in Georgetown and a low-income area. Wastes are disposed

of in Mandela landfill site.

Its main client is the MCC, but it serves also to restaurants and individuals

because of the late paying of the MCC.

f) Cevons Waste Management

77


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Representative: Morse Archer

Activity:

o Domestic waste management.

o Commercial waste management

o Special waste management

Clients:

o MCC

o Airport

o Hotels

Equipment:

o 2 stationary compactors, 30 ton capacity each.

o 1 roll-on roll-off truck.

o 6 compactor trucks, 17 ton capacity each.

o 1 sewerage truck, 2000 gallons.

o

This enterprise collects solid wastes generated in the markets, taking the

stationary compactors to Mandela landfill site. Regarding the airport, solid wastes

from the aircrafts are taken to the incinerator and waste from the general

activities and outside the airport are taken to Mandela.

g) C&R Enterprise

Representative: Ms. Ross Chandroutie Salandy

Activity:

o Waste recycling

o

Materials recovered:

o Glass bottles

o Cardboard

o Aluminum

o Copper

Equipment:

The enterprise hires trucks and collects recyclable wastes from all over

Georgetown (workshops, stores), and mostly from Mandela landfill site.

78


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.5 ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL DIAGNOSTIC

2.5.1 Budget, Existing and Required Funds for SWM Services

a) Municipal budgets for SWM

The absence of a national solid waste sector and consequently the lack of a

well defined policy direction for solid waste management is reflected in the

extreme difficulty of accurately measuring the magnitude of the sector from the

economic and financial point of view, at national level, without aggregating all the

detailed information from every local solid waste unit, data which is not currently

available. The Government’s accounts do not feature the solid waste sector as a

separate budget item, and therefore it is not possible to weigh the current and

projected size and importance of the sector in terms of GDP 8 , national budget or

national employment. In effect there is currently no financial support system at

national level for solid waste management, and the municipality/NDC is the main

financial/operational unit for these services. As will be explained in detail below,

financial information is at best obtainable, if and when available, at decentralized

level and mostly from municipalities only. Certain conclusions can be drawn

from this analysis, although this does not allow necessarily for their extrapolation

to the national scene.

There is in effect sectoral planning for water, sanitation and housing, but

only recently in the 2003 national budget does “Solid Waste Disposal” figure in

the Public Sector Investment Programme, under Reference 122 (Volume III), and

only as part of Central Government’s commitments under an IADB-funded

initiative in two phases (see below, c) External Funding) 9 .

This analysis has succeeded in gathering some relevant information at

municipal level. The following Table 2.5.1 features the total municipal budget of

the Mayor and City Council (M&CC) in Georgetown for three consecutive years

(2003 figures are estimates), and the portion that corresponds to the solid waste

management section of the Cleansing Department (until lately part of the Public

Health Department at the M&CC). The Georgetown City Council Treasury

Department centralizes the capital city’s municipal budget and distributes funds

for the different departments. These consequently decide how to allocate the

received funds, and no national public sector guideline is currently in place to

determine the portion to be allocated to solid waste management.

8 The lack of information on turnover of private solid waste sector participants also contributes to the

difficulty of measuring the economic impact of the sector in the country.

9 A recent region-wide study by DFID on water and sewage refers to integration of solid waste into the

water and sanitation sector. It is felt at Government level that there is a need to walk in one direction in

this respect. In addition, within the Ministry of Housing there is increased interest in solid waste

management issues and their links to land use planning and housing scheme development.

79


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

As can be seen from Table 2.5.1 below, the general municipal budget and

the expenditure on solid waste have been increasing and the percentage of the

municipal budget directed towards solid waste management in Georgetown has

averaged a yearly 14% since 2001. Considering data since 1998 (Ref. 4.2: 20),

the expenditures on solid waste management have increased by 30%, except for

a 3 percent decrease in 2001 (total for 1998: G$ 162,570,000). The Cleansing

Department expects a considerable increase in the funds dedicated by the City

Council to solid waste management in the mid-term, due to inputs to be derived

from committed IADB funds (see c) External Funding below). It is not possible to

isolate the expenditure items that refer to sanitation, as they are contained in

different items in the general budget of the Cleansing Department.

Table 2.5.1 Budget Mayor & City Council Georgetown

G$ 2001 2002 2003 (est.)

General Budget: Actual Revenue 1,401,027,213 1,639,180,159 1,719,790,742

General Budget: Actual Expenditure 1,311,981,289 1,639,268,085 1,719,790,742

Budget SWM: Actual Own Revenue

Administration

Refuse Disposal

Budget SWM: Actual Expenditure

Administration

Collection/Transportation

Refuse Disposal

215,200

1,017,068

15,288,304

143,148,091

38,923,238

591,935

2,358,190

16,379,810

147,942,874

45,505,381

861,000

13,800,000

22,592,876

157,459,414

56,177,611

Total Actual Expenditure SWM 197,359,633 209,828,065 236,229,901

% of SWM Expenditure in Total Exp. 15% 12.8% 13.7%

Source: Cleansing Department, M&CC

The following Table 2.5.2 indicates figures for total budgeted municipal

expenditure and budgeted expenditure specifically for solid waste management

in Georgetown, Linden and Corriverton in 2003. At the time of the analysis,

detailed budget information from other municipalities was unavailable.

Table 2.5.2 Comparative municipal budgets – year 2003

G$ Georgetown Linden Corriverton

Total Municipal Budgeted Expenditure 1,719,790,742 85,545,000 38,250,000

Budgeted Expenditure SWM 236,229,901 7,422,423 4,908,920

% of budget for SWM 13.7% 8.7% 12%

Population (1997) 177,900 33,500 15,700

Annual Expenditure SWM per capita G$ 1,328 222 313

Source: Cleansing Department (M&CC), Solid Waste section (Linden), Treasury Department (Corriverton)

In the case of Corriverton, the municipality’s Works Department is in

charge of solid waste management, and the solid waste section’s budget is

currently close to ten times the budget allocated for sanitation (at the time of the

80


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

analysis, G$500,000/year), which is managed by the Public Health Department.

From the information gathered from the Town Council, this municipality had a

balance of G$4 million in its accounts in the month of September 2003 and does

not normally incur financial debt. The municipality envisages significant

increases in the general budget in the next years due to an expected increase in

internal tax collection, as will be expanded upon below.

Linden Town Council also has a separate solid waste management

section, which covers in addition the sweeping and cleaning of the streets.

Tentative figures for solid waste management expenditures are as indicated in

Table 2.5.2. From discussions with officials, it is assumed that all property tax

collected in the municipality is dedicated to solid waste management. The Town

Council’s aim is to increase the percentage of the general budget dedicated to

solid waste management.

Rose Hall provided data for the year 2002: total municipal budget was G$

30,279,523, of which 27% was dedicated to solid waste management, which is

dealt with entirely by the municipality. Calculations for this year have not yet

been confirmed, and an increase in the overall budget is expected for the years

to come, as will be explained below. Per capita expenditure in solid waste

management for 2002 in Rose Hall was G$ 1,009 or approximately US$ 5.00 or

20 to US$ 25 per family per year.

Georgetown is the municipality with the highest absolute expenditure per

capita in solid waste services, of the municipalities considered. In comparison

with Corriverton, both municipalities are dedicating similar percentages of their

total budgets to solid waste management. Linden Town Council shows the

lowest expenditure per capita on solid waste services. Nevertheless, it can be

seen that there are large disparities between the municipalities with respect to

the magnitude of their solid waste sections in terms of total budget and per capita

expenditure.

An exchange rate of 1US$=G$194.5 (United Nations Organization, official

rate for October 2003), gives an expenditure per capita figure of US$ 6.8 for

Georgetown which however is below the US$ 9-18/person/year range typically

registered for Latin America and the Caribbean, as taken from various sectoral

analyses undertaken by PAHO/WHO in the continent (Ref. 1.5). This could be as

a result of a more limited quality and coverage of the SW service as well as the

fact that Guyana is a less developed country than many in the region; the

literature showing that higher income per capita countries generate greater per

capita volumes of solid waste, thus requiring greater SWM expenditure.

b) National resources available for solid waste management

None of the existing municipalities or local governments apply a

specific/direct rate to recover the costs of the solid waste services they render –

81


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

these decisions are generally the prerogative of Central Government. Apart from

generating own revenues through various fees for services (removal of hospital

waste, tipping fees, as will be discussed), municipalities basically conform to the

statutes, which provide for a general annual property tax that funds each of their

‘integrated’ budgets and that is collected locally. Municipalities and NDCs in

general manage their own tax collections (there are, nevertheless, a few cases of

NDCs that do not collect taxes but find other sources of revenues through leasing

of equipment to farmers, like Cane Grove), and Council meetings make the

decisions on the distribution of these funds.

Municipalities have authority to set their own tax rates, and for the City

Council in Georgetown, the current differential in the application of the property

tax is as follows: residential property tax is 40% of the assessed value of the

property, and commercial/industrial/Government institutions tax 250% of the

rental value. The Cleansing Department receives a yearly lump sum from the

municipal property tax for all its operations. Nevertheless, it is not possible to

obtain, at source level, a clear picture as to what percentage of the collected

property taxes is dedicated to solid waste in Georgetown or the other

municipalities: revenues are gathered from the different sources into one fund

and then distributed amongst the different departments, losing this information in

the process (an estimated figure of 13% was nevertheless quoted at the

Cleansing Department of the M&CC).

Property tax revenues, tipping, hospital and market fees and other

revenues from public municipal services are supplemented by statutory Central

Government subventions, geared in principle to compensate the municipality for

the generally low levels of property tax collection in their carrying out of statutory

tasks, such as solid waste management services. These subventions, on

approval, are then earmarked for specific expenditure items 10 .

Property Tax

In Georgetown, 26,000 properties are currently subject to this tax, with a

total value of G$ 1.6 billion, according to the last valuation of 1997, which has not

been updated since, it appears for political reasons (Ref. 4.2). The current

collection rate is 70% for the city. For 2002 the estimated collection from property

tax was US$ 7,030,000 in Georgetown.

In Corriverton, property tax collection has remained within the range of

G$7-9 million per year in the last six years, no higher than 55% of the maximum

expected if all the tax was collected. In 1998 the Town Council attempted to

reach the current collectible maximum of G$16.5 million, which resulted in a court

battle with local businesses. In 2002 collection reached G$9 million, whilst

approximately G$12 million is expected for 2003. The last property appraisal for

10 In the case of Rose Hall, Government subventions are utilised specifically for drainage and street

servicing, not for solid waste collection.

82


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

this municipality took place in 1976 and a new one will almost certainly be

completed in 2005. The Town Council counts on this updated valuation to meet

its increased budget expectations, intending to reach a new estimated maximum

collectible of G$20-22 million. Below are the current rates applied by category in

Corriverton Town Council. The percentages indicate an outdated property

valuation. However, with the expected new appraisal the reduction in the rates

will compensate higher valuations; therefore the increased collection will derive

from all the new properties to be included in the census:

Residential 465%

Commercial & residential 735%

Commercial 1,055%

Cultivation 235%

Source: Corriverton Town Council Treasury Department

Linden Town Council currently reports a 20% paying rate from the total

property tax collectible rate, and in 2002 the amount collected from this source in

the municipality was G$ 7,422,423. As in the case of Corriverton, there is an

urgent need for an update in the property valuation system, which has been

requested to the Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development.

Current rates for Linden are 180% for residences and 337.5% for the commercial

category. In June 2003 the IADB-funded Urban Development Programme (UDP,

see c) External Funding below) set the goal of reducing by 50% the current

delinquency rate in terms of property tax for the Council, with a deadline for

November 30 th 2003. In order to meet this objective, Linden Town Council has

started an aggressive media campaign with the public denouncing of debtors to

the public accounts. This tactic is proving extremely effective.

Rose Hall Town Council feeds its solid waste services budget only with

property tax, which reportedly currently ascends to 60% of total collectible rate.

The Council expects the new valuation will bring increases in the funds collected.

There is a house-to-house revenue collection team that has obtained a relatively

positive response. Commitment from the residents and especially businesses

will be key to increasing the collection rate.

In general it appears that the present collection system for property tax is

not effective in its results across the municipalities: the regulatory framework

currently in place does not allow for prompt follow-up of payment evasion,

creating a significant accumulation of tax debt in the process, which only harms

municipal accomplishment of their community responsibilities. There is clearly an

avoidable deficit in property tax-based financial resources for investments in

improved municipal solid waste services.

Table 2.5.3 below shows how an increase in current collection rates in

Georgetown (70%), Linden (20%) and Corriverton (55%) to the maximum

collectible rate (100%) would bring considerable increases in the municipalities’

83


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

solid waste management budgets, assuming the current magnitude of these

SWM budgets in the total municipal budgets remains constant:

Table 2.5.3 Potential SWM budget increases with property tax

upgrades

Georgetown Linden Corriverton

2002 total PT collection (G$)* 1,363,820,000 **7,422,423 11,830,000

Maximum PT collection (100%) 1,949,820,000 37,112,115 21,509,091

Increase in G$ 586,000,000 29,689,692 9,679,091

Total municipal budget 2002 1,639,268,085 85,545,000 42,250,000

Increased municipal budget at

100% PT collection rate 2,225,268,085 115,234,692 51,929,091

Total SWM budget 209,828,065 7,422,423 **4,908,920

Percentage SWM budget in total

12.8% 8.7% 12%

budget

Increased SWM budget 284,834,315 10,025,418 6,231,491

Percentage increase in SWM

36% 35% 27%

budget

* Exchange rate 1 US$ = G$ 194, United Nations Organization, October 2003

** No data for 2002 available: data for 2003 is used.

The importance of truly enforcing the collection of property tax – and this

could easily be seen as a priority, considering the above figures – and the

upgrading of the property valuation system is highlighted by projected

demographic and migration trends 11 , which would have a negative effect on

property tax collection rates due to the difficulty of enforcing payments by

overseas property-owners.

Subventions

The allocation of subventions to municipalities is subject to considerable

negotiations between the municipality and the Ministry of Local Government and

Regional Development. With respect to the Government subvention amounts

shown in Table 2.5.4 below, in the year 1997 only Rose Hall and Anna Regina

appear to have received above-average transfers per capita, amongst the six

municipalities considered. Data from 2001 for the M&CC Georgetown indicates

that the level transferred was G$ 16 million (Ref. 4.2).

11 According to the 2002 ECLAC Statistical Series for Latin America and the Caribbean (Ref. 1.3), population

projections (assuming average fertility hypothesis), the projected trend is for decreased population numbers

in Guyana in the next decades.

84


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.5.4 Government subventions to municipalities – 1997

GEORGE

TOWN

LINDEN

NEW

AMSTERDAM

CORRIVER

TON

ROSE HALL

ANNA

REGINA

Transfer from

Government 118.5 66.7 74.1 44.4 51.8 51.8

(US $ ‘000)

Population 177,900 33,500 21,700 15,700 8,000 5,700

Transfer per

capita (US$)

0.67 1.99 3.4 2.82 6.5 9.1

Source: Preliminary Diagnostic of Solid Wastes Ma nagement in Guyana, GASWMA 2003

It is not realistic to establish any conclusions as to the link between

internal property tax collection and any corresponding ‘compensation’ from

Central Government through subventions, due to the lack of itemized revenue

data from all the municipalities, which would allow for comparisons. In general,

nevertheless, the municipalities from which it has been possible to obtain data

agree that there is currently a general low level of property tax collection but the

subventions received from Central Government do not respond, in general, to

any formula based on an accurate compensatory municipal needs assessment.

Insufficiently detailed accounting systems add to the difficulty in presenting an

accurate resource-flow scenario.

Revenue Source Mix

Even though in some cases, for example in Linden, it is felt that the

amounts transferred from Central Government are not sufficient to meet the

needs of current solid waste management services, under the IABD-funded UDP

Programme, five-year business plans are being drawn up at municipal level and

municipalities are being advised to gear towards increased financial

“independence” from Government subventions through ensuring regularity in

their tax collection systems. It is felt at the level of the Ministry of Finance that

this will contribute significantly to increased authority of the municipalities, which

could allow them in the future to directly receive and manage external funding

independently from the Ministry of Local Government and Regional

Development.

Linden Town Council feeds its general budget with hefty anti-littering fees

(revenues from this source started being collected in March 2003, and are

projected to ascend to G$ 3.5 million for 2003, at an individual rate of G$

10,000); fees for tree-cutting and removal of refuse from the roadside; fees from

removal of construction waste and market fees from the two town markets. The

media campaign has also been utilized to impose due payment of these fees.

No tipping fees are being collected for disposal in the dumpsite, given the

Council’s declared need to educate the population on the importance of proper

waste disposal and not deter them from adequately doing so. Actual revenue is

85


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

not accounted for in a disaggregated manner in the Council’s general accounting

system.

Corriverton Town Council trusts that the above-mentioned expected

increase in their municipal property tax collection in the next few years will help

achieve the goal of greater financial independence. In addition, it is expected

that one of the results of the UDP Programme will be the creation of anti-littering

by-laws and accompanying fines (as is the case for Rose Hall), which will

guarantee the Town Council a new source of income. Of the municipality’s total

budgeted funds for 2003 (including the provisional balance of +G$4 million),

currently market fees from stall rental and market sanitation represent 52%

(these fees are nevertheless considered outdated by the Council), property tax

revenues 28%, Government subventions 17%, and revenues from the abattoir,

public conveniences and a day-care center represent roughly 1% each.

In the case of Georgetown, in 2001 approximately 85% of the total

municipal budget was generated by property tax collections, roughly 14% from

other municipal taxes and 1% from Central Government subventions (Ref. 4.2).

There is no consolidated figure for total actual revenue for solid waste

management in the budget document of the SWMD: the two accounting items

‘administration’ and ‘refuse disposal’ (see Table 2.5.1) capture the revenues

generated internally by the SWMD: fees directly charged to hospitals for disposal

of their waste, “tipping fees” for landfill dumping of “special waste” 12 and other

fees from individuals and companies for particular disposal services. The SWMD

estimates that hospital fees average G$250,000/month in total from the five

hospitals. No data was available on the average monthly value of the tipping

fees for special waste or the other specific fees mentioned, but according to the

document in Ref. 4.2, the Department is in effect subsidising these services with

its other revenues, given the disparity between the fees and the actual costs of

these services. In Georgetown, the City Treasury centralizes the collection of

‘market fees’ from market stall owners for the cleansing and sanitation of their

surroundings, the revenues of which do not go directly to solid waste

management. The same applies to anti-littering fines, which have ranged

between G$ 11,000 in 2001 and G$ 181,500 in 2003 13 .

As can be observed in Table 2.5.1, in 2001 and 2002 the percentage of

revenues generated in this manner with respect to the total solid waste

expenditure costs was 0.6% and 1.4% respectively. The increase of close to 5%

reflected in the estimate for 2003 (to G$ 13,800,000 under ‘refuse disposal’) is

due to the fact that the SWMD expects the application of tipping fees to all the

12 Special waste includes, according to the Cleansing Department: asbestos, dangerous biomedical waste,

unfit foods, expired pharmaceuticals, oily wastes, boiler ash, etc. Tipping fees were introduced in 2001.

13 Fines have recently been increased to up to G$ 10,000, although the level at which they are effectively

imposed by the Magistrates is felt to be extremely low. According to a Report by the Cleansing Department

(Ref. 4.11), there is an average backlog of 300 unsolved cases per month. In this scenario it is futile to

discuss an “optimal” fine level as deterrent for littering, given that the real deterrent would be their actual

enforcement. The M&CC’s litter prevention unit is understaffed and ill equipped to carry out their tasks.

86


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

private haulers that dispose of solid waste in the Mandela landfill. At mid-October

this has not been generalized yet.

Under ‘actual expenditure’ – collection/transportation are included

expenses for special street events and the total fees for private contractors – the

M&CC contract out 95% of collection and transportation of the city’s waste,

taking care of the remaining 5%, as well as the management of the Mandela

controlled landfill site.

Non-Financial Resources

The level of human resources employed in municipal solid waste services

has been commented upon in Chapter 2.2. As a summary of crucial arguments, it

is to be stated here that the magnitude of the sector in terms of employment is

currently insignificant and the salary level is perceived as unattractive. There is

the general belief that an increased professionalisation of the sector would

considerably improve municipal efficiency and effectiveness in solid waste

services.

Characteristics of current equipment for solid waste service provision have

been discussed in the previous chapter 2.4. From the economic/financial point of

view, it should be stressed that, for the case of Georgetown, maintenance costs

are not accounted for in the SWMD’s solid waste accounting system, given that

all maintenance is carried out by the Mechanics Department. The officials

interviewed are of the opinion that provision for maintenance of equipment

utilized in solid waste services should be derived form the section’s budget. Most

surely capital costs (depreciation and interests) are not accounted as

expenditures of the SW Department, but included in general expenses in the

general accounting system of the M&CC.

The solid waste department of Linden Town Council considers it could

increase its operation capacity with increased funds at relatively little extra cost,

by utilizing the existing resources more efficiently. Corriverton Town Council, on

the other hand, states that it could not meet increased demands for their services

with the current stock.

In general it appears that the current availability of financial resources

affects the performance of human and infrastructure resources in terms of

efficiency and effectiveness. The lack of adequate access to spare parts for the

existing equipment results in extremely high down times for the vehicles, thus

considerably affecting performance of the service. Similarly, the limited financial

resources have as consequence the extension of the service life of the

equipment at the expense of maintenance. The “leaks” in the system due to

current transportation and disposal methods (allegedly 10% of total waste

generated does not reach disposal) have varied economic and financial

implications, amongst others potentially lost revenues from recyclable solid waste

87


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

and negative environmental and health externalities due to improper solid waste

management.

Similarly, the lack of an appropriate and separate accounting system

(based on cash revenue versus expenditure) and the absence of provision for

depreciation and maintenance of equipment within the sections in charge of solid

waste (with the exception of Corriverton) prevents the solid waste management

units from adequately assessing this performance and consequently finding

adequate managerial solutions to the current bottlenecks. For the purpose of

general programming and especially effective financial planning, the current

system needs to change. The Mayor and City Council of Georgetown have plans

to effect changes in the medium term.

c) External funding for solid waste management

The Inter-American Development Bank has committed an initial US$1

million (roughly G$ 194 million) for the upgrading of the Mandela Landfill in

Georgetown. This will represent Phase I (until mid-2004) of a larger loaninitiative

that is currently under negotiation with the Government of Guyana and

that is expected to kick-start Phase II in 2005 (new landfill at Eccles, for US$ 14

million).

As was mentioned above, the Public Sector Investment Programme

(internal ref. 122) has allocated part of this ‘solid waste disposal’ project under its

2003 budget. Of the G$ 194 million, G$ 50 million will be derived from the IADB

loan and G$ 15 million from Government funds. The Government of Guyana will

contribute in total 10% of the loans. The remaining G$ 129 million for Phase I

will be reflected in the 2004 budget. Phase II will last approximately four years

and US$ 1 million (10%) will be derived from Government funds.

The IADB is also funding the Urban Development Programme (US$ 25

million) to aid municipalities in capacity building (US$ 5 million), infrastructure

(US$ 20 million) and other areas, including solid waste, as was mentioned

above. Municipalities are already benefiting from upgraded public infrastructure,

which will enable them to divert funds to other areas in the short to medium term

(Corriverton plans an increase in the number of employees and investment in

equipment). Property tax collection databases and methods are being updated

through this programme (completion planned for the end of 2004), geared

towards increasing financial autonomy and sustainability of the municipal solid

waste management services.

The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) is currently funding a

municipality capacity building programme through the Federation of Canadian

Municipalities (FCM), a concept largely based on provision of expertise and

partnership in local projects. The project totals some US$ 6 million. Solid waste

88


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

management was identified as a priority for the municipalities, together with

public education and awareness and human resources management.

In addition, there are several low-income housing programmes envisaged by the

Government, although there is no particular provision for solid waste

management as a separate sector.

2.5.2 Cost Analysis and Rates for Delivery of Services

a) Cost structures for municipal waste

Detailed information was sought from selected councils. Except for

Corriverton, figures for expenditure items were not provided in a complete and

clear fashion that fully reflected the department’s real expenditure for each item.

This reveals the absence of sounding accounting systems at local governments.

In addition, in general other direct costs apart from salaries, equipment

and protective clothing, such as equipment depreciation and equipment

maintenance services were not fully identified or accounted for by the M&CC

Cleansing Department or Linden Town Council specifically for the solid waste

management section, let alone any existing indirect costs (in the case of the

Cleansing Department at the M&CC, these can be related to solid waste

management but are managed by other departments). Consequently, the

identification of these is very difficult given the fact that they are not included in

the budget of the solid waste section. At the time of this analysis, information for

New Amsterdam or Rose Hall was not available. Corriverton, reports the

following itemized budgeted expenditures for its solid waste management section

in 2003:

Expenditure items SWM

Cost

(G$ / year)

Salaries 6 garbage collectors 1,269,840

Incentives garbage collectors 574,080

Over-time garbage collectors 400,000

Salary truck-driver 390,000

Salaries 2 tractor operators 700,000

Protective clothing 75,000

Fuel + lubricant SWM 1,000,000

Maintenance 500,000

Total expenditure SWM 4,908,920

Source: Treasury Department (Corriverton)

From this detailed account, salaries (including incentives and over-time)

represent 68% of total expenditures in Corriverton’s solid waste management

section; fuel, lubricant and maintenance of equipment 30.5% and protective

clothing 1.5%. It is to be noted that the salary for the Foreman falls under the

89


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

general budget for the Works Department, not the solid waste section of this

department. No capital costs for equipment are reported in this budget.

Overall the Cleansing Department of the Mayor and City Council in

Georgetown reports for 2002 total expenditures of G$ 209,828,065. Of these,

G$ 131,144,000 represent fees paid to the four private contractors that carry out

95% of the M&CC solid waste services – included under the

‘collection/transportation’ expenditure item (see Table 2.5.1). The remaining G$

78,684,065 of the total expenditure was distributed between the three categories

(‘administration’, ‘collection/transportation’ and ‘refuse disposal’); however, it was

not possible to obtain disaggregated information for each category of activity or

expenditure component. As stated previously, equipment maintenance and

rental (the Cleansing Department rents equipment from a private company for

the operation of the Mandela waste disposal site) is not a cost for the city’s solid

waste department. In addition, any capital costs associated to solid waste

services are accounted for under general M&CC `capital costs’ and not under the

solid waste department account where it should be. In consequence, all costs

accounted for in the department’s solid waste services are operational costs.

The Cleansing Department is aware that this method of cost accounting provides

an obvious difficulty in isolating the true costs of the service. The knowledge of

the real costs of municipal solid waste management services would indicate the

exact deficits in the sector and also bring to the fore the underlying subsidization

of the services from other municipal activities.

As expected, the labour component makes up for the relatively larger

portion of solid waste management costs in the public sector: public sector

employees are largely unionized, impeding therefore a more flexible marketbased

turnover.

Comparative cost efficiency

Table 2.5.5 Comparative average unit costs for SWM, 2002

Georgetown Linden Corriverton Rose Hall

Actual Annual

Expenditure SWM (G$) 209,828,065 *7,422,423 *4,908,920 8,070,143

Total tonnage managed

per year (estimated by

45,528 2,920 780 1,200

officials)

Average cost per ton

(US$)** 23.8 13.1 32.4 34.7

* No data was available on actual expenditure for SWM in 2002, but the interviewees of each

Town Council confirmed that the figure was similar to 2003. Therefore, the budgeted expenditure

for 2003 was used.

**Exchange rate 1US$=G$194, UNO, October 2003.

90


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

In order to obtain the above calculation, it should be noted that for the

case of Georgetown, all tonnage managed (collected and disposed of) with the

total budget of the Cleansing Department (including the fees paid to the privately

contracted operators) was taken into account. The actual use of part of the

Cleansing Department’s budget for management of the disposal of solid waste

from other collectors as well (e.g. the waste disposed of by the City Engineering

Department from its drainage clearing activities) makes this calculation a

necessarily rough estimate only.

From the data contained in the above table, Linden’s solid waste services

appear to be the most cost-effective, and Rose Hall’s the least. As most figures

are estimates, especially those referring to average tons of solid waste managed

by the respective sections, these comparisons are also necessarily vague (see

notebox in part 2.4.1). Nevertheless, according to comparative data from

CEPIS/PAHO/WHO (Ref. 1.5), Corriverton and Rose Hall’s unit costs are closer

to the average in Latin America (US$ 30/ton), with Georgetown and especially

Linden far below. The typical costs per ton range from US$ 35 to US$ 70 for

Latin America and the Caribbean.

The estimated breakdown of the average cost per ton by activity for the

M&CC Cleansing Department in Georgetown is as below. The percentages that

correspond to each activity were calculated on the basis of their relative weights

in the total solid waste management expenditures of the Cleansing Department,

drawn from Table 2.5.1:

ACTIVITY US$ PER TON % OF TOTAL

AVERAGE COST

Collection/Transportation 16.8 70.5

Disposal 5.2 21.7

Administration 1.8 7.8

TOTAL 23.8 100

The above can only be considered a rough estimate, given that the basis

for the calculation was the average yearly tonnage of solid waste disposed at the

Mandela Landfill by the Cleansing Department and the private contractors only

(excluding volumes disposed of by the City Engineering Department and other

independent haulers), and these figures are averages themselves. Systematic

weighing of the solid waste amounts destined for the landfill during a certain

representative period would significantly improve these calculations 14 (It is

14 If the total 2002 expenditures in solid waste disposal of the M&CC (G$ 45,505,381) w ere divided into the

total average tonnage registered at the landfill (86,096 ton/year according to the landfill manager), a unit

cost of US$ 2.7 / ton (exchange rate 1US$=G$ 194) would result for disposal, low when compared to

internationally accepted ave rages of US$ 4-10/ton (Ref. 4.9 and 1.5) – according to the Cleansing

Department, this is due to the methods utilized at the landfill site that do not comply with international

landfilling operational standards. The general measure of efficiency based on the ratio of operational

costs/revenues does not constitute an indicator in the case of the municipalities studied, given that, on the

91


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

estimated that a one week well designed weighing programme would achieve a

much better estimate o collected waste than the existing figures)

However, within a margin of error of 10% of the total average unit cost per

ton, the component unit costs can be used to compare with international

averages: Ref. 1.5. notes an average 50-60% of the total unit cost dedicated for

collection/transportation in Latin America and the Caribbean; the M&CC’s unit

cost for this item representing more than 70% of the total. Nevertheless, the

actual average costs for this item range between US$ 15 and US$ 40 in the

continent. It should be noted that SW expenditures reflect an almost “true cost”

in Georgetown since the collection price of contractors and equipment rental for

disposal include most surely the capital costs of the equipment (only the 5%

collected by the SWM department would have a “hidden capital cost”. With the

exception of New Amsterdam that has a 30% private collection, the rest of the

municipalities would all have their capital cost cost “hidden” in their general

accounting systems.

b) Cost structure of hospital waste

The Georgetown Public Hospital Corporation (GPHC) contracts out the

collection and disposal of its of its solid waste, both domestic (to private

contractors) and hazardous (to the M&CC), employing eleven (11) persons in its

internal sanitation unit. The annual expenditure in sanitation for the year 2002 is

disaggregated as follows (US$):

Salaries: 26,041

Equipment: 391

Protective Clothing: 1,302

TOTAL US$ 27,734

According to the official interviewed, 85% of this budget is

dedicated to solid waste management. As can be seen, the salaries

component represents close to 94% of the budgeted expenditures. If a

total of 50.8 ton/month of solid waste is collected from the GPHC

(equivalent to 609.6 ton/year), then an approximate unit cost of US$

45.5/ton results for this institution (85% of this would in theory correspond

to solid waste management= US$ 38.7). It is to be noted that there is no

separate accounting system for solid waste disposal within the

Corporation (capital expenditure is accounted for under ‘other expenses’

and solid waste-related operational expenditures under ‘environmental

services’). When proper equipment is installed for the treatment of

hazardous hospital waste (i. ex. a pirolytic, doble-chamber, starved air

one hand, in general all revenues are spent and on the other, all costs accounted for specifically for solid

waste management are operational.

92


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

incinarator or an autoclave) the cost per ton would go up to US$ 300 to

500 or more if it is private.

c) Rates for delivery of services

There is currently no pricing policy in effect for solid waste management in

Guyana. Fees currently charged by the public sector to markets, businesses,

institutions and individuals for specific services are set at municipal level in an ad

hoc fashion, as are the levels of fees paid to the contracted private sector. The

IADB loans mentioned above stipulate, however, the need to agree on a system

for the existing tipping fees, for example, as a basis for an adequate pricing

policy. It is foreseen, in addition, that the system will provide for separate

accounting of solid waste management activities and separate accounts for the

financial resources related to solid waste. It is a vital step towards the

modernization of the system.

The municipal service providers are currently charging no specific solid

waste management user rates to the population in general as a cost recovery

mechanism 15 . Property tax is in theory covering this, although the current system

does not provide for differentiation according to solid waste generation volumes –

there is, in effect, cross-subsidization of this service from land-only properties (do

not receive the corresponding solid waste collection benefits) to the rest of the

categories. In addition, due to the outdated property valuations, there are

innumerable “free-riders” currently in the system.

According to the official interviewed, the Georgetown Public Hospital

Corporation (GPHC) pays the M&CC on average G$ 105,000 per month for

collection and disposal of hazardous and infectious waste. If 30% of the 51 ton

per month produced in Georgetown are considered hazardous, then the

estimated actual unit cost of burning would be G$ 7,000 per ton orUS$ 35

instead of the US$ 300 to 500 that will cost in yhe future. That is why proper

separation of common from hazardous waste is so important within the hospital.

There is a need, as stated in the ERM study (Ref. 4.2), to derive true economic

values to the actual and future services rendered by the M&CC to hospitals,

based on the specific nature of the waste. This would aid the M&CC to deal

cost-effectively with hazardous waste today and in the future.

Initial discussions have taken place at ministerial level with respect to the

establishment of a just price or remuneration policy for SW. National efforts are

nevertheless currently being concentrated in streamlining the water and

electricity sectors. The feasibility of this alternative will have to be studied

15 Nevertheless, there is information that in certain NDCs (Eccles) people are paying additional fees directly

to private service providers due to inadequate service granted by the NDC. This information could not,

however, be confirmed during the period of this analysis.

93


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

carefully. Alternative models for cost recovery as discussed in the IADB paper

(Ref. 4.2) will be referred to later in this analysis.

Nevertheless, for the time being the IADB, within the framework of the

above-mentioned earmarked loans, foresees an increase in the proportion of

rates and taxes applicable to the system in order to assist in the upgrading of the

Mandela landfill in Georgetown and the financing of the new projected landfill at

Eccles, while the UDP Programme intends to accelerate the upgrade in property

valuations that will foreseeable increase property tax collection rates and

consequently (indirectly) the funds available for solid waste management. At the

same time Government transfers to municipalities are expected to decrease, as

they were put in place only to supplement meagre municipal income generation.

The progressive strengthening of the legal system should allow the municipalities

to set economic values to their services and potentially enforce laws that would

enable them to establish cost recovery rates in the long run.

2.5.3 Private Sector Involvement in the Solid Waste Sector

a) The private sector as SWM services provider

The Mayor and City Council of Georgetown contracts out approximately

95% of its solid waste collection services to the private sector, who in turn are

currently managing on average approximately 50% of the City’s solid waste,

according to current data on average tons disposed of in the Mandela landfill

(other disposals originate in the City Engineering Department and other small

collectors, apart from the M&CC). The reasons given by the SWMD for the

privatization initiative are: a) low efficiency in public sector service provision –

ineffective management – and specifically, b) low cost-effectiveness in the

service: the public sector’s expenditures on the salary component of its SWM

budget are considered too high (it appears due to inefficient staffing numbers and

not due to high salaries); it does not have sufficient funds for investment in

adequate infrastructure and its maintenance; the slow and bureaucratic

procurement processes for acquisition of equipment and spare parts represent

added hidden costs. Organizational management is also considered more

efficient in the private sector: private sector logistics in the service is closer to the

optimal, which consequently brings down certain costs such as fuel/lubricant

costs and average costs per ton of the service.

It is estimated that New Amsterdam contracts out 30% of its service.

Corriverton Town Council has not privatized any portion of its solid waste

management services and there are no immediate plans to do so. The Council is

of the opinion that the lack of competition in the local private sector would drive

their fees too high for the public sector to be able to afford them. The

municipality prefers to continue to be in charge of the system.

94


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Linden Town Council periodically employs private contractors for specific

activities such as drain cleaning, not for solid waste management. A proposal

has been presented within the Council for privatization of the municipal service

for cost-efficiency reasons, and the solid waste management section is

considering a system based on time and motion exercises previous to

contracting, in order to enable the Council to establish performance standards to

ease monitoring.

Interviews were conducted with some of the companies contracted on the

basis of competitive tendering by the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown for

collection and disposal services. In addition to the finding that a certain degree

of regulation and a pricing policy for the solid waste sector is needed as a

framework to encourage and protect private sector involvement, the following are

conclusions of these discussions:

Multitasking

Most contractors are combining solid waste management services with

other economic activities and therefore utilizing their equipment for diverse

activities.

Contractual periods

In addition, even though some contractors have been in the business for

more than ten years, actual contract periods with the M&CC are considered too

short to provide an incentive for meaningful investment in the sector, pushing up

maintenance costs.

Payment arrangements

Most contractors complained about delays in payments coming from the

M&CC (these are effected in principle every two weeks, but the process usually

takes longer). The highly bureaucratic financial channels often result in

overdrafts and requests for credit from the banking system at very high rates

(approx. 21%), driving costs up unnecessarily. It was felt in general that the

banking system does not support private initiative and this situation is a major

restriction to the expansion of the private sector’s role in the economy. In line

with the IADB Pre-Investment Study (Ref. 4.2), these discussions and those with

the M&CC officials indicate the need for additional improvements in the following

areas: prompt invoicing on the part of the contractors, speedier invoice

certification on the part of the M&CC (naturally subject to adequate service

monitoring) and clarity and consistency in the initial contractual arrangements

(payment schedule, performance indicators, potential penalties for delayed

payments/poor performance).

Labour costs

95


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

In general on average 50% of the costs tend to be related to labour.

Employment in the private sector tends to be more flexible and, although data is

currently unclear to effectively compare the salary levels between the public and

the private sector for solid waste management, turnover is high in the private

sector due to the nature of the work and the contractual arrangements, which

nevertheless equally affects performance. The key to offset the reportedly high

labour costs will be investment in further mechanising the service. The nonstandardisation

of bins – too heavy to be lifted by one person – may be at the

root of the large size of the crews (in other countries the average is one to three

loaders, Georgetown is operating with an average five to six).

Equipment costs

Equipment costs follow labour costs in percentage of total costs: in

particular, import taxes on vehicles and spare parts was mentioned by all

interviewees as the major restriction to renewal and proper maintenance of the

fleet, affecting in equal measure used and new equipment (in 1998 the previous

differentiation in the import taxes between new and old equipment was

eliminated). It is felt that an urgent political decision should be made on tax

concessions for these imports for all contractors.

Cost recovery

Some contractors reported cost recovery and even profit margins from

their solid waste management involvement; others consider the costs too high

and the returns too poor, compounded by the increase in fuel prices, cost of

living and currency depreciation. Understandably, no data was obtained on

current rates of return. Nevertheless, given the generally unreliable accounting

methods, it is assumed that there are considerable costs that are not being

properly taken into account, such as investment costs, other capital costs, etc.,

which would qualify any statement on current cost-effectiveness in the private

delivery of solid waste services.

Efficiency

In terms of efficiency, it is also felt that economies of scale could be

achieved through the reorganisation of the logistics of the service by geography

and not activity; namely, combining different levels of sanitation works for a

particular area. In this manner accountability would increase, as well as the

capacity of the population to identify the service received with the rates paid.

Resource use would be optimised and monitoring would improve. Textbox 2.5.1.

considers only the relative efficiencies of solid waste collection between the

public and private sectors. Because there is currently no private involvement in

the management of refuse disposal, no statement can be made on the ability of

96


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

the private sector to provide a more efficient service in terms of landfill

management.

The IADB “Solid Waste Management Pre-Identification Study” (Ref. 4.3: 9)

states that the contracting of private enterprises to carry out certain collection

and disposal tasks for the public sector has proven a positive initiative for

Georgetown, and could be taken into account by other municipalities and NDCs.

As was expressed in Chapter 2 of this analysis (Institutional Arrangements), it

appears clear that the Government is interested in the private sector’s

involvement in all phases of the solid waste management cycle, and present

cost-efficiency figures, albeit rough, aid in supporting this view. Nevertheless, as

stated above, there are numerous areas in which policy-makers can support this

interest, creating an adequate enabling environment that significantly improves

the current incentives. Similarly, municipalities can benefit from managerial and

financial technical assistance that could enable them to assess the potentials of

private sector involvement at local level.

Textbox 2.5.1 Public and private sector comparative efficiency in

SWM in Georgetown

In this analysis, a comparison was made between the relative efficiencies of both the private and the

public sector in solid waste collection in Georgetown in terms of expenditure per unit ton.

In order to calculate the tonnage collected by the private sector, average monthly amounts of solid

waste as delivered by the private sector contractors to the Mandela Landfill site in 2002 were collated to

obtain an average yearly figure (42,672 ton/year). The official in charge of landfill management

confirmed this figure. With the yearly value of fees paid to contractors by M&CC in 2002 being G$

131,144,000, this gives a unit average cost per ton of US$ 15.8*.

Due to the minimal scale of the M&CC’s collection operation, for the public sector, the expenditure on a

comparative service to that of the private sector, i.e. collection and transportation, is calculated on the

assumption that all administrative costs go towards refuse disposal (management of the Mandela landfill

site). Therefore, the only cost considered is the ‘collection/transportation’ figure minus the fees paid

out to the private sector = G$ 16,798,874 (G$ 147,942,874 – G$ 131,144,000). The average yearly

amount of solid waste collected by the M&CC is 2,856 ton. This gives a unit average cost per ton of

US$ 30.3*. From these estimates, the efficiency of the private sector relative to the public sector in

solid waste collection is evident. With this result, however, it should be borne in mind the inexact

nature of the data provided. For instance, because the budgeted costs of the M&CC do not include (as

seen before) other possible hidden costs (depreciation, insurance, etc.), the results could be even more

distinct - it is to be expected that the fees received by the private contractors would cover such costs.

*Exchange rate of 1US$=G$194, UNO, October 2003

It is also important to note that some of the human resources in the Department are probably using

their time to draw, manage and supervise the private contracts.

b) The private sector in recycling

In addition, the collection carried out by the public sector (voluminous and special waste) is different in

nature to that of the private sector (households and markets). These and other inaccuracies in the data

should not, however, diminish the significance of the comparison.

Interviews were held with three private companies involved in the

recycling of solid waste in Guyana. The following was found:

UNDP exchange rate 1US$ = G$194.50

97


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

b) The private sector in recycling

Several interviews were held with representatives of private companies

involved in recycling of solid waste in Guyana. The results follow below.

Capacity and supply of inputs

One company is engaged in recycling paper into cardboard boxes and

started operating in 2002, after two years of not being able to do so due to

energy costs. It is functioning at below optimal capacity 16 , due to the difficulty of

obtaining enough raw material from the local market: transport costs for

collection of scattered inputs are high, and even though certain measures were

put in place to capture paper from the commercial sector and residences, they

have not proven successful. Reasons behind this appear to be a lack of

awareness of the potential financial opportunities of supplying inputs to this

embryonic industry, and the lack of internal capacity for investment in

infrastructure to capture these inputs (the company has only one truck for

collection). The company is importing some of its raw material from Brazil and

the Caribbean.

Another company is a family business (2 persons employed) and focuses

on the supply of recyclable material 17 to local and foreign recycling businesses.

The business combines collection with their own three trucks with purchasing

from waste-pickers in the dumpsites. Some investment in infrastructure has

been made, and it can be considered that the company is functioning at full

capacity, given the small scale of its operations. The person interviewed

declared themselves prepared to invest in further equipment, but the current

import taxes on vehicles have impeded moves in this direction.

The cost of collecting recyclable material appears to be one of the major

bottlenecks affecting the operating efficiency of small businesses. Considering

the success of the refund system for glass beverage containers, the introduction

of a similar deposit refund on plastic bottles, for instance, could significantly aid in

overcoming the lack of economies of scale for small recycling companies,

through the concentration of the material in a few centralized locations. The

community would have clear incentives to return the used containers. A clearing

system between redeeming centres would have to be set in place.

Cost recovery:

16 An average of 130 ton/month of paper is currently recycled by 50-60 contracted employees during

operations that last 10-12 days per month, when the company has the capacity to recycle 50 ton/day of

paper in its recycling plant, transformable into 35 ton/day of cardboard.

17 Broken bottles are crushed and exported to a beverage manufacturer in Trinidad & Tobago; paper is sold

by weight to the local recycling company; aluminum and copper to the United Kingdom, and more recently

infrastructure has been put into place to crush and export plastic containers to North America.

98


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Both companies reported operating profits, although the paper recycling

company stressed the fact that it has to depend mostly on the local market for its

raw material in order to be cost-effective. Transport/import costs from increased

supplies from abroad would make the business unviable.

Textbox 2.5.2 Recycling of cardboard: potential stakeholder

As indicated in Part 2.4.2 of this analysis, a little more than 10% of the total waste stream in the City of

Georgetown corresponds to cardboard. An average of 86,096 ton/year is disposed of yearly in the Mandela Landfill,

according to reports by the official in charge. If 70 percent of this quantity could be separated, some 6,000

ton/year of cardboard would be available. According to the recyclables supplier company, they sell at an average

price of G$ 13 per kilogram of cardboard to the recycling company. The potential yearly sales would average

around G$ 78 million. This exceeds the G$45 million spent in Mandela in 2002.

With respect to the cardboard recycling company, an average of 91 ton/month of finished product brings an

estimated yearly turnover of US$ 436,800, according to estimated data supplied by the company’s officials. The

company is currently operating at 11.8% of its input recycling capacity. Considering its current reported optimal

capacity of transforming 50 ton/day of input into 35 ton/day of output, if the company recycled the full 6,000 tons

of cardboard that could be separated potentially per year in Georgetown, the resulting output of 4,218 ton/year

would bring a turnover of US$ 1,687,200. The increase of 286% in turnover would be very significant. This

maximum average input per year available locally would allow the company to operate at 46% of its capacity.

It can be assumed that expansion of small-scale operations is currently limited due to their marginal costs being

higher than the marginal revenues for increased output. Investment appears to be too costly for medium-sized

operations as well. Incentives are necessary in order to reduce marginal costs for the private sector involved in

recycling.

All these estimates are hypothetical and imply that the estimates of solid waste, cardboard content, and supposed

cardboard separation efficiency, are all correct.

A third company has 7 employees (under six-month renewable contracts)

working on-site for two major national beverage manufacturers, chipping

damaged post-industrial PET and HDPE and preparing them for export to North

America, sharing the labour costs with these companies. The company’s

intention is to expand into complete recycling of PET, delving into the postconsumer

phase (redeeming centres and 2 trucks would collect plastic discarded

by consumers), given the market opportunities apparently available in the

Caribbean. The Government has committed a site for the purpose of setting up

the recycling plant, and the company plans to rely on the Environmental Levy 18

currently being collected by the Government for its initial operations, after which it

could start generating its own revenues.

The EPA in its “Policy Briefing on the Environmental Levy” (October 2002)

reports that on average approximately G$195 million was collected per year

between 1996 and 2001 from this item and places in the Government’s

Consolidated Funds. Figures could be significantly higher given estimates for

18 In 1995 an amendment to the Customs Act enabled a levy of G$10 to be imposed on every unit of nonreturnable

(full) metal, plastic, glass or cardboard container of any alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverage

imported into Guyana.

99


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2002 (at G$413 million, according to the Guyana Public Sector 2002 Estimates,

Volume 1). According to the document, there is no evidence that these funds

have been or are being utilized for environmental protection/management-related

purposes.

The Environmental Levy is only imposed on those imported beverage

containers which fully contain alcoholic or non-alcoholic beverages. This leaves

out the volumes of (empty) preformed containers imported, to be given shape in

the country as part of the manufacturing process. Further exemptions from this

Levy are the two main beverage manufacturers in the country and those

companies importing containers for manufacturing purposes (the drink containers

are classified as packaging material) 19 . In theory companies that demonstrate

re-exporting the same imported containers have the right to claim the refund of

this levy, although there is no evidence that this has happened.

The EPA notes the potential for applying the Environmental Levy to the said

exempted institutions. Potential revenues to be derived from this action are at

this stage impossible to quantify with precision, given the inaccuracy of the

import data. Distinction in the nature of the imported containers is made difficult

by the methods of registration at entry (by weight of container, by importing

agent).

Following the EPA’s recommendations, serious consideration should be given

to the application of the Environmental Levy to empty beverage containers as

well. In addition, the negative impact of the referred solid waste is not being

addressed through this Levy, as was theoretically intended. The use of a portion

of this Levy as incentive for recycling is to be studied further 20 .

Textbox 2.5.3 Recycling of plastic: potential disposal costs savings

for M&CC of Georgetown

According to the data in Chapter 4 of this analysis, an estimated 9.4% of the total waste stream

generated in Georgetown is plastic. Taking an average amount of 86,096 ton/year of solid waste

disposed of in the Mandela Landfill, according to the landfill manager at the M&CC, some 8,093 ton/year

of plastic solid waste enter Mandela. If 30% of this plastic had a market and could be separated and

sold at G$ 8,000, there would be a potential income of G$ 64 million. This amount also exceeds the G$

45 million a year that it cost to operate Mandela.

* 1 US$= G$ 194, United Nations official exchange rate, October 2003

19 It is important to note that the former exemptions have been criticized as “anticompetitive” by CARICOM,

according to the EPA document.

20 It is to be noted, nevertheless, that the EPA recommends in any case that these funds be managed by an

environmental agency.

100


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The third company has conducted a “Study Research on PET and Other

Plastic” (Ref. 3.7), highlighting the cost-effectiveness of the process of recycling

of PET. On average, according to the report, 15.000 tons enter the country

annually. These figures need to be researched further, as stated above.

According to the EPA, incentive mechanisms towards improved

management of this waste should be developed with the involvement of a broad

spectrum of stakeholders, in the direction of effective collection and recycling

opportunities. In 2002 a National Committee on Plastics was established to

examine the problem of plastic waste in order to assess recycling opportunities

and find an integrated resource recovery system as a solution to plastic bottle

bio-hazard (Stabroek News, 11 September 2003). The jumpstart was a seminar

conducted by the Guyana Training Agency (GTA), which concluded that

recycling was Guyana’s best option to solve this mounting problem. In terms of

cost recovery, however, the price of plastic does not cover in general the costs of

recycling it, and therefore it is necessary to find other financial resources (a levy

on every bottle purchased by a customer was suggested; this levy could be

captured by the beverage company, who would channel these funds to the

recycling body).

2.5.4 Financial Sustainability of the Solid Waste System

No comprehensive studies have been carried out that can accurately

indicate the investment requisites for future improvements in coverage and

quality of the solid waste management services at national level. The exception

is Georgetown, for which the IADB has financed pre-investment and draft

analyses (Ref. 4.1., 4.2 and 4.3).

However, as has been discussed above, certain initiatives are currently in

place, which aim at supporting financial sustainability in Guyana’s solid waste

management services at municipal level. The current scenario can be

summarized as follows:

• The cited IADB Urban Development Programme is assisting municipalities in

developing increased financial independence from Central Government

through the regularization of their property tax collection systems.

• It is expected that dependence on Government subventions will be reduced

as a consequence of this restructuring.

• Municipalities are currently complementing their general budgets with the

collection of anti-littering fees, hospital fees, tipping fees for refuse disposal,

market fees, and other charges.

There are large disparities between the income levels generated by the

municipalities, and there is no rationalized system in place that ensures regularity

or sustainability of these general revenue streams, let alone a secure portion for

101


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

their solid waste management services. In most instances it can be said that

improvement in the enforcement of fiscal and penal obligations would contribute

significantly to turning this situation around. It is expected that the long awaited

for upgrading of the property tax collection system will be the milestone of this

process. Only a realistic property tax system can bring municipal revenuegeneration

to a level where financial planning can have a basis on real economic

values.

In general it is felt across the municipalities interviewed that the private

sector, as waste generators, should be more involved in the solid waste

management system as payers for the service. The updates in property

registrations and valuations are expected to integrate the private sector fully into

the municipal financial circuit, given that numerous businesses have been

established since the first valuations in the 1970s, and they are in effect freeriding

the system. Tipping fees have also been foreseen for disposal at the new

landfill in Eccles in Georgetown (the Cleansing Department of the M&CC

envisaged a charge of US$ 13/ton). However, as the ERM study estimates (Ref.

4.2), considering the current disadvantageous tax structure and investment

climate, unless an appropriate law enforcement system is in place, these fees on

private businesses will only constitute a disincentive to proper solid waste

disposal and illegal dumping will escalate. As the study recommends, an initial

comprehensive identification and registration of all commercial waste generators

should be carried out, before proceeding to a public awareness/consultation

campaign aimed at all waste generators, covering topics such as the polluter

pays principle and the benefits of improved solid waste management.

Willingness and ability to pay

The study conducted a survey during March-May 2002 on willingness and

ability of the population to pay for solid waste services. Despite the limitations of

the survey 21 , it was found that people have concerns about the quality of current

services but are generally satisfied with it. It can be said that people in general

do not know how much they are paying for solid waste services through their

property taxes 22 and very few of them willing to pay a separate charge for the

current system. If significant improvements were made, the willingness to pay

would be higher, although the financial range offered by the questionnaire

respondents was too varied to draw any firm conclusions. In terms of ability to

pay, however, apart from the heavy tax burden (33.3% income tax, contributions

to the National Insurance Scheme, VAT, etc.), the increase in the cost of living

21 Under-representation of certain socio-economic, gender and ethnic segments of the population general

are underestimation of income levels and overestimation of consumption expenditure.

22 One of the main consequences of lumping all revenue derived from property tax into one fund, without

allocating at source a certain percentage for solid waste service expenditures, is the resulting lack of

identification by the population with the actual service for which their tax payments are utilised.

102


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

and the fact that the average household currently dedicates approximately 22%

of its total expenditure to utility bills apart from municipal tax (according to the

calculations in the study, on average G$ 7,000 per year is disbursed by a typical

household for property tax), the results show that an average household could

not afford to pay more than 2% (G$ 1,000) of their average monthly expenditure

budget for improved solid waste services (approx. G$55,000 in the ERM

survey 23 ). This is in line with the World Bank’s calculations (Ref. 4.8.) that

indicate a maximum 2.2% as percentage of income payable for solid waste

management services in low-income countries. In addition, this percentage

would correspond to the average range for solid waste tariffs reported for the

continent (Ref. 1.5): US$ 0-5/month/user.

With these results and the general feeling, amongst the officials

interviewed, that it is not feasible at the current moment to ask for more financial

support from the population, the best preliminary conclusion in this respect is that

at the root of any public awareness exercise is the need to know with accuracy

the real costs of the system before making any decision on the path to take.

The IADB pre-investment study on Georgetown’s solid waste

management sector (Ref. 4.2) identifies four possible alternative models for

cost recovery for the sector (the study was carried out specifically for

Georgetown). At the root of all of these alternatives is something that the

Government currently considers important: the achievement of a steady revenue

stream for the country’s municipal solid waste sector, independent from

governmental subventions. The most basic requirement is the creation of a

separate fund for SWM services.

The current method of utilising part of the property tax revenue collected

for SWM services is built on in two of the models. Both continue the idea of an

indirect revenue collection system, while the other two models consider a direct

revenue collection system. These alternatives depend either on the

improvement of the current property tax collection rates and/or on the

willingness/ability of the population to pay for the service.

In the first model proposed, the SWMD calculates its projected

expenditures and a fixed percentage of the collected property tax (based on a

fixed rental value of the properties, like the current system) is set aside by the

City Treasury in a separate fund, specifically for solid waste management. The

basic premise is regularity in property tax collection, as this model counts on a

necessary increase in the collection rate. This model may not be considered

“progressive”, as it does not account for the fact that land-only properties do not

benefit from solid waste services but are nevertheless subject to property tax,

thus perpetuating the current situation.

23 G$ 50,353 as stated in the “Poverty Profiles 2000”, Institute for Development Studies (IDS), University of

Guyana.

103


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The second model is still based on regular collection of property tax

revenues set aside specifically for solid waste management, although the tax to

be paid (the calculated unit cost) would be estimated according to the average

amount of solid waste generated by the following differentiated property

categories: (contracted – M&CC or private) residential, contracted nonresidential

and non-contracted (independent disposal) non-residential. This

model would certainly be more accurate and fairer from the economic costing

point of view, as payments would ideally correspond to actual solid waste

generation volumes and therefore land-only holdings would not be paying for

services from which they do not benefit. “Demand” and “supply” of solid waste

would be more in line with this system. The expectation would be however those

residential property owners would see their charges increased due to the higher

levels of solid waste they generate in comparison to the non-residential sector.

This would need to be a consideration for municipalities with poorer residents

where mechanisms of subsidization to offset these charges may need to be set

in place.

Model 3 is based on the “polluter pays” principle: a waste charge

independent of property tax would be introduced. A total unit cost for SWM is

calculated through the aggregation of the unit costs of the different categories of

waste generators e.g. residential, business, etc. This total unit cost is then

multiplied by the average waste generation per household to form the basic tariff

figure. In this discussion, of course, an accurate willingness and ability to pay

scenario of residential owners would have to be drawn up. Any short fall in

revenue collection as a result of factoring in willingness to pay would need to be

borne either by the commercial sector or through a subsidy from Central

Government. Commercial and Government institutions would pay a tonnagebased

charge related to the calculated unit cost with non-contracted waste

dumping at the landfill site incurring a tonnage-based charge related to a unit

cost of investment. The upgrading and enhancement of the Environmental

Protection Act should provide the framework for enforcement of the already

stipulated “polluter pays” principle in Guyana.

Model 4 proposes a joint billing process with any one of the current utilities

companies. The drawback of this model would be the necessary increase in the

overall charge derived from the commission earned by the company collecting

the charges (as stated in Ref. 4.3, this commission ranges between 2% and 10%

in most developing countries). According to the document, GPL, GW Inc. and

GTT have expressed their interest in engaging in this procedure, and there

appears to be in principle no legal impediment to this, apart from the need to first

incorporate solid waste management under the framework of the Public Utilities

Commission. Nevertheless, the three companies have experienced different

degrees of success in their billing systems in the past. In addition, the tariff

policies of two of the companies are based on estimates of consumption,

although one of them is in the process of introducing metering for the service.

The current cost recovery, subsidisation and billing systems of the companies

104


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

would have to be closely examined in order to draw any firm conclusions as to

the feasibility and sustainability of an eventual joint billing for solid waste

management. This, added to an evaluation of the companies’ public image and

the populations’ willingness and ability to pay, considering what it is already

paying for these public services, would determine which path to take. In any

case, according to Ref. 1.5, collection of fees for solid waste services has

enjoyed a high degree of success in the continent when invoiced jointly with

other public services, having proved itself, therefore, as the best option in terms

of financial sustainability for solid waste management services. The main

premise is the need for a regulatory framework that ensures the discontinuation

of the service due to default in payment. This is the case for most public utility

companies in the country. In addition, mechanisms for differentiation of users

according to socio-economic background should be incorporated in this form of

collection.

The realistic applicability of these models and any other cost recovery

mechanisms that have been proposed for Guyana 24 will have to be reviewed,

according to the peculiarities of the municipalities and NDCs. As financial

planning and service performance improve with current and other medium-term

initiatives, options may have to be sought to involve the private sector and the

general population as payers for the service.

24 Ref. 4.3 mentions several: user charges to large generators of waste, environmental taxes linked to

tourist arrivals and hotel stays, solid waste taxes linked to commercial licenses.

105


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.6 ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Guyana remains particularly vulnerable to environmental pressures,

occasioned by the fact that more than 75% of the country’s land area is covered

by tropical forests with many of the ecosystems being inherently fragile and,

therefore, liable to react adversely to interventions which alter their ecological

balance (Ref 6.9).

An estimated 90 percent of the Country’s population live along the narrow

coastal plain 25 . It is also the area of major economic, commercial and financial

activities and in recent times has seen a mushrooming of settlements and their

accompanying construction activities. As said before, this area lies approximately

1.5 meters below the mean sea level mark. As a result the space in which the

populace exist is both cramped and infelicitous, and therefore prone to a large

number of specific environmental problems. For example, it is continuously

threatened by inundations from the Atlantic Ocean and the rivers which bring with

them the difficulties caused by flooding, the deposition of silt, and erosion

Almost the entire economy is dependent upon coastal agriculture and the

exploitation of the country’s forest wealth and minerals (PRSP, 2001). This

means that what may be perceived as the ordinary economic activity of many

Guyanese constitutes a continuous pressure and threat to the environment.

Poverty also is a cause of the over-exploitation of the natural resources without

repair to damage which might occur as a result of such over-exploitation.

With changing consumer taste and the liberalization of the economy that

occurred after 1989 there has been a proliferation of imported items in plastic

containers. The disposal of these is posing a serious threat to the environment.

Furthermore, the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown, for example, which

were designed to cater for a diurnal volume of 50 tons of waste now find’s itself,

handling in excess of 270 tons daily.

The potential environmental and health problems in the coastal zone of

Guyana therefore are intimately linked to activities associated with human

settlement and specific effects that are related to population concentration and

economic activity. These include waste generation – solid, liquid, gaseous,

chemical, flooding from the increased run-off caused by the replacement of

natural vegetation by built structures and the clogging of waterways through the

indiscriminate disposal of garbage; and coastal erosion aggravated by various

types of engineered structures and by activities such as sand-mining.

25 Guyana’s coastal plain occupies approximately 7.5 percent of the total land area of the country and

extends along the entire 430km of the Atlantic seaboard. It varies in width from 26km at the northern most

extreme in the Barima – Waini Region to 77km further southward in the Karakaburi area.

106


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The most common examples of resource contamination in Guyana are

associated with water pollution from mercury, cyanide and other chemical wastes

through mining; untreated human and animal wastes; and agricultural and

industrial wastes (PAHO/WHO, 2003). Further, improper disposal of SW serves

as a vector for mosquitoes, rats, cockroaches and birds, with all bringing different

types of threats to human health. 26 Additionally, air pollution remains a public

health concern, particularly in areas such as Linden, where suspended mineral

particles have been implicated in certain human respiratory disorders. It is

therefore imperative that any sector analysis for solid waste be cognizant of

these nuances in the Guyanese economy.

Within Guyana, plans for SW management have rarely factored in growth

in economic activities and the population (Ref 6.4). As such, with the

mushrooming of settlements after 1992, many of them illegal, the municipalities’

capacity, both in and out of Georgetown, to manage SW has been placed under

severe strain. This has culminated in SW being poorly managed generally with its

consequent environmental and health problems.

The main threats to the Guyanese environment from improper solid waste

disposal come from the indiscriminate dumping (particularly along the seawall

area, but also, along the coast in Regions 3, 4, 5 and 6) the improper systems for

final disposal (like that at the Mandela site) and the burning of waste mainly

outside of Georgetown that emit substantial particles into the atmosphere as well

as burning of some plastics at improper temperatures produces dioxins and

furans. The improper disposal of special types of waste, i.e., hospital and

hazardous, particularly outside of Georgetown, though even the system in

Georgetown is far from efficient and the improper burying of substantial volumes

of waste that has the potential to pollute ground water supplies and increase the

cost of treatment to the Guyana Water Incorporated (GWI) and ultimately the

Guyanese consumer.

Table 2.6.1 gives a break down of the manner in which hospital waste is

disposed across the administrative regions of Guyana. Clearly, outside of

Georgetown the preferred method of disposing hospital waste is via burning and

burying. This waste should be treated as special waste but this is often not the

case.

26 Poor MSW management in Guyana has often been associated with water-borne diseases like cholera,

dysentery, and gastroenteritis, while food-borne diseases such as infectious hepatitis and dysentery are also

known to be included in this link.

107


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.6.1 Disposal of Hospital Waste in the 10 Administrative Regions

ADMINISTRATIVE

REGIONS

1 – BARIMA –

WAINI

3 – ESSEQUIBO

ISLANDS-

WEST

DEMERARA

4 – DEMERARA-

Mahaica

5 - MAHAICA-

WEST

BERBICE

6 - EAST

BERBICE-

CORENTYNE

7 - CUYUNI-

MAZARUNI

8 - POTARO-

SIPARUNI

9 - UPPER

TAKATU-

UPPER

ESSEQUIBO

10 - UPPER

DEMERARA-

BERBICE

PLACE

Port Kaituma

Mabaruma

Matthews Ridge

Leguan

West Demerara

Georgetown Public

Hospital Corporation

St. Joseph’s Mercy *

Medical Arts centre *

Woodlands *

Davis Memorial*

Prashad’s *

WASTE DISPOSAL MANAGEMENT

OPEN

DUMP

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

BURN

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

BURY

v

v

v

v

v

MUNICIPAL

LAND

PRIVATE

CONTRACTORS

- -

- -

v

v

Fort Wellington v v v - -

New Amsterdam

Port Mourant

Skeldon

Mibicuri

Black Bush Polder

Bartica

Kamarang

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

-

-

-

v v v -

v v v - -

Mahdia v v v - -

Lethem

Aishalton

Linden Hospital

Complex

Wismar

Note: * Private Institutions. All others are state run.

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

v

-

-

-

v

v

v

-

-

-

-

-

108


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

2.6.1 Environmental Impacts of Improper Waste Disposal

Protecting the air, water and land around waste disposal sites in Guyana is

critical, given the general location of these facilities and it would appear that the

‘secret’ of having proper waste disposal systems is to have properly designed

and operating environmental management systems. Creating a facility in

harmony with the environment, while simultaneously serving the needs of the

municipalities, must be the primary goal. The Environmental Protection Agency

via the EP Act of 1996 attempts to do this through its environmental impact

assessment (EIA) requirement, but this does not go far enough in identifying

operational, closure and fore-closure technology.

Guyana is a party to a number of multilateral environmental agreements that

seek to promote, in one way or another, efficient solid waste management.

These include Agenda 21 that emerged out of the United Nations Conference on

Environment and Development in 1992, the Basel Convention on the Control of

Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and their Disposal adopted in

1989 and entered into force in 1992, and the Framework Convention on Climate

Change (FCCC) adopted in May 1992. However, assessing the effects of being a

party to these international agreements has been precluded by the lack of basic

environmental statistics and indicators.

Despite this lack of data, we have sought to establish critical linkages about the

potential threats improper solid waste management poses. For example, owing

to the physical, chemical and biological characteristics of solid waste and many

of the waste disposal approaches applied in Guyana, the management of the

waste can, and typically does have adverse impacts on the environment, as does

indiscriminate dumping (Ref 6.3). Many of the environmental problems

encountered in Guyana are associated with processes in landfills or at

dumpsites. These result in impacts that fall under the rubric of:

• Formation and Composition of Leachate

• Odours and other gaseous emissions

• Effect on Water Quality

• Land Issues

• Litter and transportation problems

a) Waste Decomposition

The municipal solid waste in Georgetown contains approximately 51,3%

organic materials that naturally decompose when landfilled. This decomposition

process is initially aerobic, but after the oxygen within the waste profile is

consumed, it switches over to anaerobic processes. In the aerobic process the

main final products are contaminated water that flows towards the base of the

109


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

landfill and carbon monoxide. In the anaerobic process, carbon dioxide and

methane are produced as waste decomposes in the absence of oxygen. These

leachates contain large concentration of various contaminants that naturally

move towards the base of the landfill. For example, at the decommission Thomas

Lands landfill site a mean pH range of 6.70 was found by Ousman (1997),

indicating that the groundwater was mildly acidic.

b) Air Quality

Guyana entered into the UNFCCC on 28 th October 1994 and a National

Inventory of Greenhouse Gases was prepared for the Base-year 1994. Having

secured financial assistance from the UNDP and GEF, Guyana has been able to

develop and publish periodic, national inventories of anthropogenic emissions in

the past. However, since 1998 no such information has been published.

There are two types of air quality issues related with solid waste in Guyana.

One is the local impact that the facility has on the environment immediately

surrounding the waste disposal site. This includes odors, dust, and litter that

originate from the site. Additionally, offensive odors escape from the waste

disposal sites and the transporting vehicles, mainly due to organic waste mixed

in with “dry waste”. Similarly, dust poses a major hazard to health through its

debilitating asthmatic impacts, associated with open burning of waste

(PAHO/WHO, 2003).

Furthermore, both carbon dioxide and methane continue to be emitted at the

Mandela landfill site and are by-products of decomposition. It is estimated that

generally half of the landfill gas is carbon dioxide with the remainder being

methane. Methane presents a number of problems, particularly as it migrates

underground before escaping into the atmosphere. Methane being trapped or

entering an enclosed structure can cause an explosion. Further, while many

methane induced fires have occurred at the Mandela landfill, it is the belief that

good care can eliminate many of these.

Global air quality issues result from the release of methane and other

greenhouse gases into the environment. Landfills for example, are increasingly

being cited as significant sources of greenhouse gases. As Figures “a” and “b”

and 6.2 indicate, nationally, carbon dioxide emissions and other air pollutants

have been increasing since 1990. However, in the absence of disaggregated

data it is impossible to discern what percentage of this was caused by landfills

though they undoubtedly contributed to this growth in greenhouse gases. 27

27 It is important to note that this growth in greenhouse gases was occurring at a time when the economy

was being liberalized and vehicles coming into the country increased from 1,062 in 1984 to 5,336 in 2000

(Bureau of Statistics, 2001). Additionally, energy consumption increased from 373 metric tons in 1990 to

545 metric tons in 1998 (United Nations Statistics Division, 2002). These two factors combined could have

been major sources of greenhouse gas emissions.

110


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Figure a: Emissions of CO2

Figure b: Other Cont

Tons ('000)

1800

1600

1400

1200

1000

800

600

400

200

0

1970

1975

1980

1985

Source: The CARICOM Environment in Figures

2002

Carbon dioxide remains a concern

because it is a greenhouse gas, but

this is more of a global problem than

localized. Methane emitted into the

air has also been cited as a

significant greenhouse gas. As a

signatory to the UNFCCC it is

imperative that Guyana take steps to

mitigate its greenhouse gas

emissions.

1990

1995

Nitrogen

Oxides

Carbon

Monoxide

Sulphur

Oxides

1998

Tons ('000)

Year

35

30

25

20

15

1999

10

5

0

1985

1990

1999

Year

111


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The global warming potential (GWP) of MSW is estimated to be 2.32 tons

of carbon dioxide per ton of landfill waste. One ton of methane is equivalent to 21

tons of carbon dioxide from greenhouse gas potential (Ref 6.5). So, controlling

methane is important to controlling global warming. It is recommended that in

future, landfill sites in Guyana be designed whereby it becomes possible to utilize

the methane produced for electricity generation or, at the minimum, that the

methane be burnt to convert it to carbon dioxide, lowering its greenhouse gas

potential.

c) Sub-surface Water Quality

Another area of consideration is the impact upon the water environment.

This includes both discharges to surface waters and releases to the groundwater

system. Groundwater quality concerns generally focus on protecting the water

supply systems that may become contaminated from waste disposal site leaks,

while surface water considerations usually revolve around the waste disposal

runoff that is destructive to the aquatic environment within stream in Guyana.

The average depth of the water table along the coast of Guyana in the dry

season was found to be 71.5 cm and 40.3 cm in the wet season. However, along

the coast of Guyana, the Coropina Formation together with Demerara clay

confines ground water in the underlying White Sand Series. The clay layers yield

no water to wells. Mainly for this reason, the artesian water in the White Sand

Series is considered a very important source of potable water. The natural

replenishment of the whole aquifer system is by percolating rainfall over the

White Sands outcrops. This would mean that current methods of waste disposal,

particularly in the white sand area, have been placing Guyana’s potable water at

significant risks.

Wastes entering the disposal sites are often of two types, i.e. organic and

inorganic. The organic waste tends to have a substantial proportion of moisture

that naturally, as well as by pressure of successive layers of waste being placed,

squeezes water out of the waste. Additionally, rainwater that enters the landfill, or

the surface runoff that enters the site, increases the liquid materials quantity that

can reach the landfill base. This leachate is generally highly contaminated as

there is little or no separation of waste. Since Guyana practices mainly dumping

rather than landfilling, the leachate can contaminate Guyana’s surface and

groundwater.

Ousman (1997) took samples at the decommissioned Thomas Lands

landfill site and compared them with those in the upper sands region of Guyana

and Finland. She found that sodium and iron concentrations were approximately

2 and 53 times respectively the level of those in the upper sands region, while

manganese concentration was 70 times the concentration for acceptable levels

of drinking water in Finland.

d) Soil Erosion and Surface Water Quality

112


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The general trend for landfilling in Guyana has been to remove the topsoil.

This has often led to increased conductivity of water supplies, adversely affecting

aquatic resources that are downstream from the facility. If erosion is severe

enough, it is possible that waste contained within the facility may be transported

off-site into surrounding water resources. Sadly, insufficient monitoring by the

EPA to determine this is an area of concern. Furthermore, the EPA is ill-equipped

to monitor, evaluate and enforce its mandate. In fact, it does not have its own

laboratory facilities but depend upon those of the Institute of Applied Science and

Technology (IAST) to conduct certain chemical analyses.

Additionally, the leachate formation potential in Guyana is high since the country

receives in excess of 2000mm of rainfall per year. This makes leachate

management very difficult as re-circulation remains a very limited alternative

given the high levels of precipitation.

f) Traffic Issues

Truck traffic is one of the major causes of adverse impacts of highly intensely

used waste disposal sites on those who own or use properties near the waste

disposal area. Increased truck traffic can readily create significant traffic

problems, air, dust and noise pollution, roadway deterioration and road safety

issues. A known MSW issue as regards transporting of MSW in Georgetown is

the volume of leachate often emanating from the compactors. This is

subsequently washed into secondary canals and persons can often be seen

playing in and fishing in these canals.

2.6.3 HEALTH AND SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT

Health is defined by the World Health Organisation as “..a state of

complete physical, mental and social well being, and not merely the absence of

disease or infirmity.” This definition implies a holistic approach to health that

emphasises the long road ahead for Guyanese currently suffering severe

economic problems that have resulted in high levels of poverty. In Guyana, life

expectancy fluctuated within the range of 63-65, for the period 1990 – 1998.

Additionally, there was a decline in the number of registered deaths for

1999 (4,197) compared to 5,134 and 5,065 for 1997 and 1998 respectively.

Three hundred ninety six deaths (9.5%) occurred in the under 5 age group, 280

of which occur amongst children under 1 year old. The leading causes of

mortality for children under the age of one include intestinal infectious diseases

(15.6%); diseases of the respiratory system (6.7%); and bacterial diseases

(4.0%). The leading causes of mortality for all age groups during the period

1997-1999 include diseases of the respiratory system (6.8%)(PAHO/WHO,

2002).

113


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The health hazards associated with solid waste are complex because of

the quantity and diversity of the waste generated and the lack of financial support

for the service. Guyana’s inability to effectively manage MSW has caused

negative environmental impacts which include the proliferation of vectors all of

which have severe consequences for human health.

A preliminary screening of health related problems associated with poor

solid waste management highlights the many and varied diseases in three

categories: communicable, non-communicable and injury. The primary

communicable diseases associated with poor MSW management are vector

borne and water borne diseases. These diseases affect all social groups.

Vectors such as flies transmit typhoid fever cholera and amoebic and bacillary

dysentery; rodents transmit leptospirosis, hepatitis and ringworm; mosquitoes

transmit dengue, yellow fever, malaria and filariasis.

Communicable diseases associated with solid waste pose a serious risk to public

health of all social groups especially children. Diarrhoeal diseases have been

amongst the leading causes of morbidity in children under 5 years old.

Gastroenteritis, a disease due to acute infections by viruses or bacteria and

causes vomiting and diarrhoea is associated with unsanitary conditions. The

incidence rates for the period 1996-2000 fluctuated with 10,251 cases reported in

1996, 2,200 cases reported in 1998 and 8,604 cases reported in 2000.

114


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Table 2.6.3 Solid Waste & Diseases & Injuries

Communicable Diseases

Vector borne – diarrhoea, filariasis, yellow fever, dengue fever, leptospirosis, lyme

disease

Water borne – diarrhoea, typhoid, cholera, hepatitis, gastroenteritis, dysentery

Food borne – salmonellosis, dysentery, gastroenteritis, hepatitis

Soil borne – roundworm, hookworm

Non-Communicable Diseases

Dust, fumes, odour – allergies, asthma, dyspnoea, eye infections, chronic lung diseases

Stress – headaches, nausea, fever, hypertension

Hazardous materials – immune and enzyme disorders, chloracne, cancer

Injury

Accidents – bruises, fractured and/or broken limbs, burns

Puncture wounds – tetanus, hepatitis, headaches, nausea, fever, HIV/AIDS

Ergonomics – bone and muscles disorders, hernias

Dengue, closely associated to improper SWM, occur nation wide. There

were 34 cases reported in 1998, 6 in 1999, 25 in 2000 and 19 in 2001. The

incidence rates for dengue fluctuated between 0.4 and 4.6 per 100,000

populations 1996-2001. A survey conducted by CAREC in 1999 that examined

school children 8-11 years old in seven of the ten administrative regions showed

positive lymphatic filarial rates for the coastal urban centres ranging from 20% to

32.2% ( PAHO/WHO, 2002). The study indicated that in non-coastal or largely

rural areas, the prevalence rates were 4.2% or less.

There was an apparent decrease in the incidence of malaria reported for

the period 1997-2000 with 43,609 cases reported in 1997 and 28,267 reported in

2000. Lymphatic filarial showed a steady increase during the period 1997-1999

with 257 cases reported in 1997, 248 in 1998, 296 in 1999. There have been 15

reported cases of leptospirosis during the period 1997-2000 (PAHO/WHO, 2003).

Typhoid fever was reported in 169 cases in 1997, 238 cases in 1998, 255 in

1999, 245 in 2000 and 246 in 2001. Hepatitis A reported 1 case in 1999, 10

cases in 2000 and 31 in 2001.

The non-communicable diseases associated with improper MSW

management are mainly as a consequence of air pollution. Putrefaction of waste

results in bad smells while burning of waste or fires as a consequence of

methane build up release heavy metals such as lead and cadmium, toxic gases

and particulate matter into the atmosphere which can exacerbate allergies and

asthma or may causes dyspnoea, lung irritation and chronic lung diseases. This

may be associated partially with the rising prevalence of acute respiratory

infections as well as asthma in the population.

For acute respiratory infections, there were 33,588 cases reported in

1997, 36,243 in 1998, 42,509 in 1999, 42416 in 2000, and 45,392 in 2001. The

mortality rates per 100,000 population were 36.5 in 1997 and 41.0 in 1999. ARIs

115


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

were the 4 th leading cause of mortality in the under 1 age group during the period

1997 and 1998 and the 3 rd leading cause in 1999. They were the 2 nd leading

cause of mortality in the 1-4 age group during the period 1997-1998.

Changing waste characteristics have also contributed to the management

difficulties facing municipalities. The use and disposal of plastics and its effects

not only on health has become a matter of concern for waste managers. The

burning of plastics produces persistent organic pollutants known as furans and

dioxins which are associated with a number of adverse effects in humans

including immune and enzyme disorders, chloracne and cancers since they are

classified as possible human carcinogens.

The organic domestic waste poses a serious threat since decomposition

involves fermentation which creates conditions favourable to the survival and

growth of microbial pathogens. Direct handling of solid waste can result in

various types of infectious and chronic and skin diseases. Disposal of medical

waste can also contribute to health risk faced by garbage collectors and pickers

such as hepatitis B and C from wounds caused by discarded syringes. Puncture

wounds as a consequence of direct handling of waste and waste receptacles

may lead to tetanus. In places like Japan, the USA and the European Union

member states HIV/AIDS has been documented as being contracted by

punctures or medical accidents incurred by solid waste personnel.

Note that there are seriously challenges to data collection and poor record

keeping and failure to submit records on time or at all may also impede the data

collection process, hence the fluctuations visible in data. Thus the data revealed

above may severely underestimate the health situation in Guyana.

2.6.5 Health Risk Groups

Informal sector workers in the segregation and recycling of materials are

the group most exposed to the hazards form wastes. The Municipality of

Georgetown reports that: “50 males, 15 females and 8 children (called waste

pickers) are active at the Mandela Avenue landfill selecting out recyclable waste

material for sale” (Ref 3.15).

Adequate solid waste management is expected to be beneficial to the

health and well-being of municipalities. However, because of the nature of solid

waste management practices in Guyana a number of vulnerable groups may

experience adverse health effects due to increased exposure to health risks.

These groups include pickers, garbage collectors, and children under 5 years

old, communities living in close proximity to waste dumps or landfill sites, and

consumers.

Pickers, peculiar to the Mandela/Princes’ Street Landfill site located in

Region 4 are persons who earn their livelihood from collecting particular waste

items. These persons are exposed to many and varied health risks. Pickers are

116


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

vulnerable to all three groups of diseases indicated in Table 6.3. These persons

who operate informally for long hours rummaging through waste gather clothing,

cardboard, metal, plastics, glass and other materials and sell to buyers who

come to the site. Some of the challenges pickers face in order to survive include

the diseases that result from the proliferation of vectors as a consequence of the

variety of waste along with improper landfill practices and design, stray animals

who defecate and urinate at the site releasing a number of parasite into the

environment; as well as injury from machinery used to bury, compact and cover

the waste as pickers are often seen darting in front of machinery to scramble

their collectables, fires from landfill gases, the possible subsidence of the landfill

because of poor compaction as well as the dangers inherent in waste itself

(pathogens, sharps, toxic materials etc).

Garbage collectors form another high-risk group because they handle the

waste for disposal. The workers are poorly equipped for this task and can be

seen regularly handling waste without respirators, gloves, proper clothing and

footwear. Very often the only safety gear seen is the glove. As a consequence

garbage collectors are exposed to many health risks. Informal interviews with a

few garbage collectors indicated a high prevalence of diarrhoeal diseases.

Garbage collectors are also exposed to fumes emanating from partially

decomposed waste as well as dust. Occupational illness due to poor ergonomics

also poses a risk especially in terms of the physical characteristics of the waste

worker, the size of waste receptacles and the height of compactor trucks. This

may manifest itself in the form of bone and muscle disorders as well as hernias.

A child’s well-being is heavily dependent on his environment. Children are

extremely vulnerable to environmental risks during the first 5 years of life due to

many factors including the fragility of their immune systems and nutrition. This

not only has a significant impact on their health status but in an unfortunate

number of cases their survival. The leading causes of morbidity amongst

children under 5 years old in 1995 were acute respiratory infections 36.5%, worm

infestation 13.5%, diarrhoeal diseases 11.3%, 2.5% and scabies 4.1% all those

associate with lack of hygiene and sanitation. The figures for 1999 were much

the same with acute respiratory infections 42%, worm infestation 13% and skin

conditions 8.0% (PAHO/WHO, 2002). During the period 1997-1999 intestinal

infections and acute respiratory infections accounted for 20.9% and 16.5% of the

deaths in this age group. The leading causes of morbidity and mortality in this

group are strongly associated with sanitary conditions of the environment. This

is evident in the nature of the communicable diseases spawned by dump and

landfill sites or from stagnant waterways, the dust, fumes and odour emanating

from these sites as well as the possible contamination of drinking water is

certainly contributory factors to health and well-being of this vulnerable group.

Communities in close proximity to dump and landfill sites are also at risk.

For example, the areas of Lodge and Meadow Brook are affected by the air

pollution generated by the landfill site as a consequence of dust, fumes and

odour as well as from raging blazes that can release toxic fumes into the

atmosphere, though no data is collected on the frequency, severity or impact of

117


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

these. Exposure to smoke particles can impair breathing and reduce resistance

to disease. Existing respiratory conditions may also be aggravated. Those with

a greater pulmonary sensitivity, for example asthmatics, may show a much

greater reduction in lung functions than others. Exposure may also irritate eyes,

throat and skin.

In general, the communities of Georgetown can be seriously affected by

the more than 18 ft high Mandela/Princes’ St. landfill. This is because as water

percolates through the landfill it makes a leachate that can consist of

decomposing organic matter combined with iron, lead, mercury, zinc and other

metals from rusting cans, discarded batteries and appliances to name a few (Ref

6.4). It may also contain paints, pesticides, cleaning fluids and newspaper ink.

This is a serious concern for all since groundwater contamination will result in the

pollution of drinking water supplies.

Consumers also comprise one of the vulnerable groups since it is possible

for them to purchase products being sold in containers collected from these

dump and/or landfill sites. Whether it is facial cream, pepper, sauces or coconut

water sold in containers not properly sterilised they too pose a threat to the

unsuspecting consumer.

These diseases highlighted all possess strong associations with improper

solid waste management, however, there are several potential confounders to

this relationship. Lifestyle and family history may influence the risk of cancer and

respiratory infections; other sources of air pollution such as exhaust emissions,

factory emissions, bottom house furniture manufacturers, and backyard livestock

rearing may also contribute to the risk of lung disease, dyspnoea, allergies and

asthma especially in children. Poor hygienic practices and lack of adequate

sanitary facilities may contribute significantly to the numbers affected by

diarrhoeal diseases, typhoid, cholera, and hepatitis A. Alcoholism and drug

abuse especially among garbage collectors and pickers may increase the risk of

accidents and puncture wounds as well as violence that result in injury.

2.7 PUBLIC AWARENESS AND COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

The absence of adequate collection of solid waste management in

Guyana has created enormous negative impacts on residents of high density and

low income areas are thus forced to practice crude dumping onto established

mini dumps and into existing narrow and shallow drains immediately outside of

homes. This results in extreme stress on drainage systems which increases the

occurrence of localised flooding from even low levels of rainfall. Climatic

conditions aid the dispersal and decomposition of the waste leaving the

environment in an unsightly condition and creating a repugnant odour that affects

the general population.

“Controlled dumping” is the practice of Georgetown to dispose of solid

waste as a form of land reclamation. However, given the peculiar geography

118


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

there are many disadvantages, particularly since most of the sites have been

located in close proximity to residential communities and schools.

The notion of sustainable development is profoundly characterized by an

increasing national and international concern on how to achieve different pattern

of consumption that could improve economic growth at the same time the

environmental protection and pollution control; which is translated into decisive

actions within citizens in cities, towns and villages. However, this must be

underpinned by a strong and active recognition of the importance of local

communities and community participation.

The priority position of “solid waste” on the national agenda (that the

country achieved last year) can be a factor of change and of challenge to

traditional concepts. The rule calculated to promote the widest possible

acceptance of sustainable development programs can be achieved and

expressed by the formulation of policies and mechanisms to allow for community

participation.

Unless communities understand, appreciate and participate in programs

and projects aimed at sustainable development, all that governments and local

authorities seek to do will go waste, and degradation of the environment will

continue unabated in many areas. Encouraged and motivated communities will

get involved in discussions on policies, services, resources and alternatives of

safe management of their wastes which also would allow for the integrity of

community vision and simultaneously promote the interest and well being of

citizens. More importantly, community participation in SWM has a direct

correlation with the general and specific interest – socio-economic, cultural and

environmental issues.

In Guyana, just the city of Georgetown has a program on “public

awareness” related to solid waste. The program includes education and litter

prevention actions. The IDB finance the program that contempt a public

awareness component. This is a US$1M loan provided through the MoLG and

the MoF, with the Georgetown Mayor & City Council being the executive agency.

In conjunction with the Public Relations Department, the M&CC ran a

number of programs on radio and television to sensitize the public on solid waste

practices, including the aspects on storage of household wastes in bins with

close-fitting covers, littering that impacts the environment and the aesthetical

appearance of the city.

The initiative of promoting healthy cities, houses, schools and recreation

places (healthy environments) through the collaborated effort of the population,

public and private institution, entrepreneurial sector and other relevant groups in

society is very welcome in Guyana. Most of the people are ready to promote

reflection and action on hygiene, health, urban and rural habitat with the aim of

contributing to the sustainable development of Guyana.

119


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

In 2003 PAHO/WHO initiative to institute a day to celebrate “cleanliness”

is giving impulse to a horizontal and decentralized process of awareness-building

for civil society on urban and rural sanitation, pertaining to domestic, special and

dangerous solid waste management as well as to the prevention and control of

ground pollution and its relationship with health. In the year 2003 many activities

were held to promote cooperative and organic work between initiative partners

and other institutions involved in promotion matters of solid waste to develop

synergistic actions that will have great impact in public option establishing

common guidelines for instruments, procedures and strategies.

To organize the “2003 Cleanliness and Citizenship Day” (DIADESOL),

Guyana established a National Coordination Group (NCG) consisted of

representatives of Mayor & City Council, Ministry of Health (Environmental

Health Unit), Guyana Advisory Solid Waste Management Authority (GASWMA),

Ministry of Local Government, Guyana Environmental Network for

Communications and Media Professionals (GENCMP) and Guyana Water

Incorporated. The NCG after its establishment identified and invited agencies

and organizations to participate in the Working Group. PAHO/WHO summoned

an initial meeting on September 2003 with participants from governmental and

non-governmental organizations started the process. The response and interest

by organizations and individuals was overwhelming.

Although there are not governmental programs on waste recycling, there

are technical opinions that community recycling projects could be precursors to

“separate at source” projects. Composting of biodegradable (domestic and grass)

wastes is another key to reducing the general waste stream.

Formal and informal Organizations

The informal sector currently active in solid waste-related activities in the

country should be mentioned as a means to increasing the current awareness of

the potential of solid waste as component in the production process.

The M&CC has presented a cost recovery proposal based on the current

solid waste trade carried out by waste-pickers and vendors (those who purchase

products from waste-pickers) at the Mandela landfill. From the proposal it can be

observed that, according to the SWMD’s figures, there is a considerable volume

of trade in waste products on and off site (G$ 18,686,100 yearly trade at on-site

values – G$ 60,967,705 yearly trade at market values), destined for reuse and

recycling either locally or abroad. The Department is proposing the taxation of

these activities in coherence with the national income tax level (33%). This

analysis believes, however, that firstly considerations such as the formalization of

this level of employment should be taken into account 28 .

28 Given the current utilization of the services of this informal workforce by formal solid waste sector

initiatives, it can be expected that changes of this nature will bring about cost increases for the formal

sector.

120


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Several non-governmental organizations have potential capability to face

solid waste community-based activities. Some citizen groups identified are:

Consumer Movement of Guyana, Guyana Consumers’ Association, Love

Outreach International, GUYBERNET, and Guyana Advisory Solid Waste

Management Association (GASWMA)

In many areas, community interest in solid waste management is limited;

ad hoc and sporadic protests by disparate groups whenever there are noticeable

deficiencies in the collection and disposal system in particular neighborhoods.

Even then, there is little concerted representation or sustained mobilization of

public awareness of solid waste management as a community or national issue.

Also, there is a continuous community outcry about the poor state of the

dump site off Nelson Mandela Avenue and its attendant negatives, including

fumes, fires, flies and effluent seepage into the drainage system, in that and

other contiguous areas. However, it should be mentioned at this point that there

is a reservoir of potential in this area for public awareness, to ensure the good

success of solid waste projects in Guyana.

There is great deal of optimism that once citizens understand the benefits

of an efficient solid waste management, they will quickly get on board. For

example, over the last year the Mayor & City Council intensified its awareness

program, mainly through radio – Weekly Mayoral Reports – to citizens, as well as

on television, and other programs via these two media. These included public

interactive sessions (telephone call-in programs), question and answer and other

discussions with City Council officials. Particular, emphasis was given to solid

waste management at specific periods. The SWMD held a series of public

community meetings in different parts of the city in an effort to help citizens play

their role in maintaining a well kept environment.

The SWMD held a five month course on ‘Managing Solid Waste through

Composting”. The course certificated twenty-five participants from a number of

local communities in the city and other NDCs. The Rotary Club of Georgetown

Central, ably assisted in facilitating this training through organization, finance and

providing the certificates to the graduates. This club, though not specifically

oriented to environment issues (solid waste), would assist with such if the

community shows this initiative for involvement and makes the request.

PAHO/WHO contributed with technical guidance and information on composting,

and supported the graduation ceremony activities.

In September 2003 the Ministry of Local Government facilitated a

workshop on solid waste for the National Democratic Councils and other

stakeholders. The purpose was to sensitize those concerned about the new

measures and mechanisms to be put in place to address this aspect of

community life. The media was invited to cover the event. Their reports assisted

the public’s understanding on what obtains in this area and how citizens could

121


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

help. In all of these programs and activities, citizens showed a demonstrated

interest and enthusiasm to make a contribution to the process.

The University of Guyana participated in 2003 in the “Cleansing and

Citizenship Day”, promoted by PAHO/WHO, organizing cleanliness campaign

done by the students. Information handouts were distributed and posted

strategically on campus – these included fliers and posters. The objective of the

activities was to create a greater awareness among the University population on

the importance of the citizenry being involved in cleanliness activities and the

need for attitudinal change for the maintenance of a clean and healthy Guyana.

Guybernet International commenced their coastal clean-up campaign at

the seawall. The purpose of this clean-up campaign was to collect and analyze

the various types of garbage which are disposed on the seawall. The objective

of the organization was to categorize the different types of waste for analysis in

an attempt to develop data for a long-term solution for a seawall improvement

program. This exercise attracted the involvement of several youth groups, such

as Volunteer Youth Group.

Community Activities

The Mayor & City Council of Georgetown recognized that the “Cleanliness

and Citizenship Day” is an important initiative, particularly for creating greater

awareness of the responsibilities of each and every citizen, in areas such as solid

waste management. In 2003 the M&CC mobilized most of the departments

within the municipality in a pilot activity to clean the section of Water Street

between Cornhill & Lamaha Streets. About one hundred (100) workers

participated in the exercise.

The GASWMA and PAHO/WHO organized several meetings to identify

among governmental agencies and organizations, the various responsibilities for

keeping the Georgetown seawall clean. The meetings also intended to establish

a program for the maintenance and sustainability of clean-up the area. The

Mayor endorsed PAHOs idea to observe in Cleansing Day in Guyana, where the

focus will be on Cleanliness and Citizenship. Thus, the third Saturday of

September every year will be observed for this purpose in Guyana, as in other

countries across in Latin America and the Caribbean.

There are significant interest of companies, organizations and citizens to

participate in cleaning exercises in various local communities. In some cases,

residents execute jointly with employees of organizations and other interested

individuals within their local communities.

In 2003 this challenge was undertaken in several communities in various regions.

The Jesus Christ Church of the Latter Day Saints sponsored a section of

Carmichael Street, North Cummingsburg, Georgetown between Church and

Middle Streets. Their activities included collecting litter, weeding of shrubs on

122


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

parapets and planting of flowers. Also, the KFC at Vlissengen Road Branch was

involved in the clean-up campaign in 2003. This clean-up exercise was done on

Vlissengen Road in the vicinity of Bel Air Park area.

Community cleanliness activities were organized by the Ministry of Local

Government in Regions 1,5,6,9 & 10. In Region 10 the activities included

cleaning of the Demerara River edge as a part of the “Bag-in-the-Bus/Boat”

project. In addition, clean-up activities were done around the town of Linden.

Activities in regions 1,5,6 and 9 included the distribution of bags as part of

“Bag-in-the-bus” project. Other clean-up activities were also done under the

community cleanliness project.

In 2003 a project was undertaken by the Ministry of Health (Environmental

Health Unit) employing public awareness/education strategy in the Mon Repos

market. Flyers were distributed, posters were placed at strategic locations and

banners were posted in the area. Handouts and promotional materials contained

messages on Inter-American Cleanliness and Citizenship Day.

Another activity was undertaken by Guybernet International Coastal cleanup

group. This was done with the assistance of the Volunteer Youth Corp,

Words Have Power Group, among others. It entailed the collection and

separation of garbage on site. The objective was to assess the solid waste

disposal patterns of persons who use the seawall. It is the interest of Guybernet

Coastal Int’l to use the findings as part of the seawall improvement and

management programme “Shelter Cleanliness”. This exercise included cleaning

of the following areas: homes, offices, places of worship. The Guyana Police

Force also participated in this campaign focused on this area. The focus of the

Police Force was on buildings and the environment of Police Stations in

Georgetown.

The bag-in-the-bus/boat campaign entailed the distribution of bags to

motor vehicles for solid waste disposal. Along Main Streets and at vehicle parks

in Regions 1,9,10,6 and 4, including Georgetown. Members of the NCG, working

group, youth groups, members of the Police Force and all other groups involved

in cleanliness and citizenship day activities, distributed bags. The objective was

to promote a more organized method of solid waste disposal for members of the

traveling public on roadways and river ways. The common current practice is

one where the garbage is disposed of on roadways and waterways. This

campaign will be done on a continuous basis.

Cooperation Agencies and Media

The international cooperation agencies could have important role to

increase capacity building in communities on solid waste management

(generation, storage, recycling/refuse and sanitary disposal). One example is the

“Art Recycling” that PAHO is implementing in other countries and a “Shelter

123


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Cleanliness”. Environmental Clubs, Water Clubs and Health Clubs can be a

focus of community-based projects.

In 2003 PAHO/WHO supported the creation of the Environmental Media

Network to promote regular activities increasing the media practitioner’s

knowledge and skill on environmental issues. Programs have been putted in

place especially in newspaper, radio and television. The focus was being on

cleanliness and citizenship as part of a “Keep-Guyana-Clean Programme”. This

programme can take the form of a television ‘call-in’ series which is broadcast

once or twice per month - the objective of which is to inform, educate, promote

and determine public opinion, involvement and interest in keeping Guyana clean.

At least one television advertisement should be produced to promote the

cleanliness and citizenship concept, e.g a jingle. Radio programme can also be

produced on a regular basis to promote cleanliness and citizenship messages

which can be developed and broadcast on radio, e.g. time signals.

Activities should be captured in the press to inform, promote and educate

members of the public on cleanliness and citizenship activities and programmes.

Flyers, brochures and posters will be essential as promotional information

materials.

Public Awareness and Education Programs

A survey was done in September 2003 by the EH Media Network and

University of Guyana. One hundred applications were received and 43 males

and 57 females were interviewed. 30% of those interviewed were below 18

years; 37% between 18-30 years; and 33% over 30 years. 72% of those

interviewed responded correctly to what solid waste means; 74% considered

Georgetown a more or less clean city; 12% said the city is clean and 15% said ‘it

is not’. The majority (86%) responded that cleanliness is more important than

public transportation or public telephones. The majority (96%) recognize that

littering could spread out diseases and affect health negatively. 94% said that

the improper management of wastes can pollute the environment. Although 80%

recognized littering 54% indicated that it is sometimes because of inadequate

bins, 19% said it is a bad habit; 14% due to lack of awareness and 13% for other

reasons.

Most of the interviewees (94%) agreed that littering is an offence. Just six

persons responded negatively whilst the majority (60%) knew very well how

much is the fee for littering ($10,000). The majority (79%) thinks that to keep the

city clean, more bins are needed.. Some revealed that individuals could

organized themselves and keep their neighbourhoods clean. Some persons

suggested the need for more education and awareness campaign like

cleanliness and citizenship, and policing action. Just one person suggested that

offenders should be punished. 60% of those interviewed indicated willingness to

financially assist to maintain cleanliness of the seawall (depending on the cost)

and 20% responded negatively. One person said that the taxes should be used

124


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

to clean the seawall. For the majority (62%) the responsibility to keep the

seawall clean is that of the Mayor & City Council.

A national solid waste disposal pledge was designed and published during

the observance of the Cleanliness and Citizenship Day 2003. It was suggested

that this pledge be circulated as part of the Public Awareness/Education

Programme.

The Community and Impact of Waste Disposal and Treatment

One of the most important issue relating community and solid waste is the

land uses normally associated with using property, such as agricultural lands or

near residential areas, as in the case of the Mandela Landfill site and its

predecessor North Ruimveldt Landfill site, for solid waste disposal. These have

resulted in permanent disturbance of the land and in some cases, in land use

conflicts that arise between the landfill and the surrounding area. Of greater

immediate concern to a number of residents, particularly in Eccles, is the adverse

effect on property value. For example, in a survey conducted in 1997 of 110

households 29 in Agricola, Eccles, Republic Park, Nandy Park and Bagotstown, 49

percent were concerned about the possible decline in their property value.

In looking for a site to build a landfill, the municipalities should consider

how it fits into the surrounding landscape and land-use plans. Currently this does

not seem to be the case, as it was indicated by the Central Housing and Planning

Authority (CH&PA) that the Mandela landfill site was constructed without

consultations between themselves and the M&CC. Considerations generally fall

into two categories: ecology of the area and potential land-use conflicts.

Ecological considerations include such things as disturbing sensitive areas that

are important to wildlife or other forestland, wetlands or wildlife habitats. Often

the landfill developer will want to find a location that is somewhat isolated. But

this unfortunately can result in the encroachment on sensitive areas, such as in

the case of Region 2 where dumpsites have been identified close to Amerindian

ancestral lands.

In identifying potential landfill sites the EPA has established some initial

screening criteria that include: (1) The area should provide a minimum capacity

of 10 years service, (2) The area should not be subject to floods or form part of

any flood plains, (3) The site access should not be through a residential area, (4)

Sites shall not be within 3 km of any airport used or proposed for use by turbojet

aircrafts, and (5) Sites should be accessible from a paved public road. Working

with the NDCs and Municipalities 45 locations throughout Regions 2 – 7 have

been identified as potential landfill sites with 10 qualifying using EPA’s initial

screening criteria.

29 This represented 5% of the total household in the areas sampled.

125


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Additionally, the municipality of Georgetown has proposed to use 78 acres

of land in Eccles, currently a middle-income housing area approximately 3 miles

south of central Georgetown. This landfill site is expected to accommodate

approximately 5000 tonnes of solid waste per month. This project is expected to

have a life of between 20-25 years. This landfill is to be located one kilometre

east of the East Bank Demerara road with adjacent communities being Agricola,

Republic Park and Bagotstown. However, generally the communities remain

opposed to this project as they perceive it as being synonymous with the current

Mandela landfill site and the ‘not in my backyard’ (NIMBY) stance.

The second land consideration is to minimize conflicts with the areas other

land uses. Landfills are often referred to as “LULU” (locally undesirable land

uses). Land use conflicts can generate significant opposition to new facilities.

The last area of concern is environmental justice. Essentially the contention is

that waste disposal facilities and undesirable types of developments are being

located in economically disadvantaged areas where the residents are not as

financially well endowed to actively oppose the development (Ref 6.5).

Waste disposals are responsible for the main social impacts on life of the

urban people. Done mainly at the Council’s Sanitary landfill, 10 acres with a

height of 20 feet waste disposal located at the Le Repentir cemetery/Mandela

site is growing. There are 15.000 persons living in this neighbourhood zone.

Council contracts out disposal services to a single contractor iii that is

responsible for moving with 50 workers, the wastes from the tipping area to the

specific cell in use and spreading wastes as is necessary. In addition to

Georgetown’s wastes, the landfill receives wastes from areas contiguous to the

city to the tune of 4,000 tons in 2002.

Mandela started operation in 1994 as an exhibition site to demonstrate the

art of sanitary landfilling. Since then, the city has buried there, a total of

approximately 700,000 tons of municipal solid wastes and there is a belief that a

large quantity of methane gas could be used if extracted and processed from the

landfill wastes. There are 50 informal workers at the site and some children is

spending their life at the garbage.

Incineration is the second more important impact on the community

because of air pollution. The Council maintains a small 40-ton incinerator iv . This

facility is responsible for the treatment of 1.2 tons/day of medical wastes (approx

three carcasses per day). In 2002 the Council incinerated 600 tons of biomedical.

Social Benefits from Wastes

Composting and recycling may be the two more significant and positive

social impacts on solid waste management in Guyana. A cleaning campaign

126


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

realize by Gybenet in 2002 removed 2.573 beverage plastic bottles, 1571 plastic

bags, and 966 glass beverage bottles and 599 beverage cans, among other.

Source: 2002 International Coastal Cleanup (provided by GUYBERNET)

Although the paper recycling company does not envisage product

diversification in the medium run, there is an overcapacity currently in the

Caribbean for the production of paper, but there are nevertheless untapped

markets for recycled paper in Brazil. The family business is exploring

opportunities on an ad hoc basis. In general it is felt that there is a need for more

policy orientation and support in the area of investment and market research.

The Mayor & City Council is offering technical advice to small

entrepreneurs to engage in recycling activities. One of the major beverage

manufacturers stated that his company is willing to work towards the mitigation of

this national scale problem. There is a need to appoint an overseer of the

initiative. It was suggested in this GTA seminar that this could be done by a nonprofit

organization in representation of all stakeholders. This body would create

an enabling environment for recycling, involving small entrepreneurs that collect,

sort, clean, shred and sell the product. A buy-back center could be set up by the

organization, organizing the transport of bottles to regional centers. Processing

plants would be developed. A similar project in the Republic of South Africa

(“Collect a can”) created 37,000 jobs, according to the article. Energy is saved in

production and there are markets for the produce. Nevertheless, it appears that

this national initiative should be given another burst of energy.

The Council runs a small compost project for the training of public health

personnel in composting methods. This facility is located in the Cleansing

Department compound.

Private Sector Participation

The “Caribbean Container Inc.” is the only private sector entity dedicated

to attracting the public into supplying it with recyclable cardboard. Its capacity of

35 tons per day is a far cry from being satisfactory. The average intake is just 3

tons per week. Banks/DIH, a large beverage manufacturer, has an arrangement

for a private contractor only to take care of its recyclable waste. C & R

Enterprise has constructed a factory at 96 Clay Brick Road, Canal Number II

Polder, West Bank Demerara but is also operating in the city for the last 10

years. It has been supplying Carib Beer Ltd in Trinidad with reusable glass

bottles but has ended that part of its operations about three months ago due to

some difficulty. This enterprise also collects plastic beverage containers from

pickers at G$4.00 per pound; cardboard at G$2.75 per pound; scrap aluminum

and copper at G$20.00 and G$40.00 per pound respectively. The metal is

crushed, graded and shipped to England. The corrugated cardboard is supplied

to Caribbean Containers Inc. at Farm Village, East Bank Demerara at about

US$40.00 per pound.

127


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The enterprising female who owns this establishment says on an average,

she collects some 200 tons of these waste materials altogether, monthly. She

conducts her activity, extending as far as Parika, East Bank Essequibo.

Interviews conducted with officials from the different municipalities suggest

that the Mayor & City Council contracts out some 97% of its solid waste service

to private contractors. New Amsterdam gives out approximately 30% of this

aspect of this responsibility to contractors. One of the main contractors

employed by M&CC for some 15 years (Puran Bros. Disposal Service) operates

the truck-bin-left system for household, commercial, markets and parapets in

areas of Georgetown. Solid Waste gathered is off-loaded at the Mandela

Dumpsite. This operator has eight trucks, six drivers and thirty-four labourers.

From households that have bins, these are emptied, inclusive of all spills

in approximately 3 feet surrounding area. These are sweepers who follow the

trucks along the collection points to clean up spillage. In areas like kitty,

Campbellville, two groups are involved in collection once weekly. In

Charlestown, Albertown, Werk-en-Rust and sections of Campbellville, collection

is twice weekly. Along the main downtown, commercial/business areas of Water

Street, Regent Street and other sections of Lacytown, solid waste is cleaned

daily. In the main four groups do the maintenance on a weekly basis. From his

point of view, residents are somewhat conscious of the health and other risks

involved in solid waste disposal. In certain areas, this is placed in bags within the

bins while in others, in either one or the other facility.

Areas he identified as not managing their waste properly are Albouystown

and Tiger Bay. But even with the country’s housing/land distribution drive and

the efforts to relocate most city dwellers to housing schemes along the East Bank

Demerara, West Bank Demerara, West Coast Demerara, East Coast Demerara,

the types and characteristics of solid waste have not shown any significant

change. The only noticeable feature is a lesser quantum accumulation on

parapets and pavements/sidewalks.

In the middle/high income areas of Lamaha Gardens, University Gardens,

Bel Air Park/Springs and Queenstown, less time is taken for collection as solid

wastes are properly placed in bags and bins with a small measure of separation

done by the households. More time is spent in most of the low income/poor

areas, as there are improper receptacles and almost wanton dumping in random

spots, coupled with the rummaging by stray animals and delinquent persons.

According, there is no difference in compostion of solid waste by ethnicity.

What he has found is, whereas in the low income areas, furniture and appliances

are dumped on parapets or in close proximity to other refuse pile-ups, it is not so

in the middle/high income or affluent areas. These residents would negotiate

with the disposal crew to have their extra items removed.

128


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

What he would prefer, is the householders to put their bins outside of their

fences to avoid his workers being molested by vicious dogs and the reports by

residents of theft by his workers.

Overall, there is a good relationship with residents and his workers have

encountered no animosity from those living in the immediate environs of the

Mandela Dump site. Disposal trucks use the Cemetery Road entrance to the site

to dislodge their collection.

Receiving payment is a sore area which the contractors have grown

accustomed to. On the average, payment from City Hall is two months late.

However, these contractors are not involved in any public awareness

arrangement. They are essentially concerned with doing their business in the

most profitable way and therefore no time is given to helping residents to

understand their role and responsibilities in an effective solid waste system.

Tourism

The government of Guyana has embarked upon a national program to

promote tourism as a serious activity. Recently, they have established a Tourism

Authority to ensure that all the requisites are in place to advance this industry. Its

main thrust is Nature Based Tourism in the hinterlands.

One of the main activities of this program is “A War on Bad Manners”,

speaking on the question of courtesy and positive social values. However, much

care should be exercised to allow for sustainable development and the general

improvement of solid waste management. Consequently, the fact that

Georgetown is the entrance to the hinterlands where tourism is quickly taking

good shape, it is important that the city ensures the efficiency of its waste

management program. Perhaps, tourist information centers should be located at

appropriate areas to provide information and instructions on how to care for the

environment. Also, there is need for the provision of litter-bins, garbage

collection points and sanitation areas generally.

3. KEY CRITICAL & STRENGHTS ASPECTS

3.1 Sectoral

The EPA in its environmental National Environment Plan highlights some critical

issues that impede proper SWM in Guyana. Environmental degradation, public

health risks, no effective record keeping, no national policies or plans, poor

infrastructure and no public awareness programmes are some of the critical

aspects highlights in that document. The SA/SW determined that some of the

most critical aspects were:

• No national policy on SWM.

129


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

• No National Solid Waste Management Plan.

• The institutional framework for proper SWM in Guyana is lacking.

• Legal and regulatory aspects are very old and do not conform to

modern SWM standards.

• Collection, disposal and recycling technologies have to be updated and

adapted to the economic, social and technical capacities of the

municipalities and NDCs.

• The municipalities and NDCs have limited capabilities regarding the

economic sustainability of the SWM services including the

determination of costs and unit costs, and the estimation of proper

fees.

• No assessments of environmental and health risks have been

performed in the treatment and disposal facilities in Georgetown and

other municipalities in Guyana.

• Public awareness and community participation in SWM has not been

addressed. The potential for school children and NGO involvement is

enormous.

As part of the strengths detected during the SA/SW of Guyana we can list the

following regarding the more general sectoral aspects:

• It should be noted that the M&CC of Georgetown, although still sharing

some of the critical aspects described above, has an ongoing

programme designed to solve them. This programme should be taken

into consideration as a base line to develop the same capabilities in

municipalities and NDCs.

• At the national level there is a proclaimed political desire to address the

solid waste management as an urgent matter of policy. This has been

publicly proclaimed by the MoH, MoLG, EPA and other institutions.

• It has been recognized that solid waste management is not exclusively

a matter of technical expertise but that it is of an interdisciplinary nature

and that an inter-institutional approach is necessary.

3.2 INTITUTIONAL CRITICAL ASPECTS AND STRENGTHS

3.2.1 Responsibility for National Solid Waste Management

At present there is no one authority agency responsible for solid waste

management in Guyana. The majority of the responsibilities lie with the

Ministries of Health and Local Government and Regional Development and the

respective municipalities and neighbourhood democratic councils. There are

also responsibilities for the EPA, Ministry of Housing (Central Housing and

Planning Authority) as well as a number of different agencies and Ministries.

The quality of SWM offered varies considerably amongst the various

administrations. This ranges from good collection in Georgetown to practically

130


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

no coverage in some NDC’s. There does not appear to be any standard to which

these essential functions (collection, disposal etc) subscribe. Also the allocation

of budgets to SWM varies. This generally reflects the low priority that SWM

seems to have amongst the various administrations. This can be seen quite

clearly from the organisational arrangements. This is coupled by low collection

rates for taxes as well as the increasing costs of waste management.

Developmental planning needs to be more effective with fuller participation

amongst all the stakeholders. Waste management should be considered at the

inception of all projects. Where it is possible, alternatives should be discussed.

These include minimisation, re-use, recycling, material re-specifications, material

and product substitution and community participation.

Monitoring and enforcement is generally not done especially by the EPA

which is charged with some of these responsibilities. Environmental Health

Officers/Public Health Officers do manage some inspections but are generally

very limited in their powers and scope.

The National Development Strategy (2001 – 2010) Eradicating Poverty

and Unifying Guyana 2.2 recommends the formation of a new Ministry under

which the EPA and other agencies would fall. Agencies that have dual roles in

terms of environmental protection and resource utilisation would have their

environmental protection functions transferred to the EPA. It also recommends

the formation of an Environmental Protection Commission that would include the

EPA and other agencies.

3.2.2 National Solid Waste Management Policy

At present there is one in draft. Whilst the document recognises what

needs to be done, there are neither firm responsibilities allocated nor timeframes.

Also there is no over-riding policy statement that governs the development of

Solid Waste Management in Guyana. However, some important issues have

been mentioned in the Government’s National Development Strategy (2001 –

2010), A Policy Framework, Eradicating Poverty and Unifying Guyana. There is

also Guyana Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper for 2002 – 2005, produced in

November 2001 that addresses many key issues including the improvement of

basic sanitation.

3.2.3 Human Resource Management and Capacity Building

Human Resource Management:

An examination of the organisational structures of the various

administrations shows a lack of human resources both in terms of quantity as

well as training and education. Lack of awareness of SWM issues and its’

importance seem to emanate at the highest levels of governance.

131


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Critical areas of training for the Municipalities and NDCs include:

• Landfill Management

• Contract Management

• Project Management

• Environmental Regulations

• Financial Management

The EPA requires a unit that should be dedicated to Waste Management.

This unit will be responsible for enforcement and monitoring as well as interagency

co-ordination.

Environmental Health and Public Health Officers need further training in

enforcement, public and community relations, communicable diseases and their

effects as well as any new legislation that may take effect.

Based on the new structure proposed the MOLGRD will play an important

part in ensuring that the various municipalities and NDCs carry out their various

tasks. This Ministry however is plagued by staff and equipment shortages. This

will need to be addressed as well.

Capacity Building:

In addition to the human resource training there needs to be significant

capacity building within the administrative structures. The 2001 report entitled

Guyana Municipal Governance and Management Project prepared by the

Federation of Canadian Municipalities 2.7 details many areas of technical cooperation

and capacity building. These include training and technical assistance

in policy development, capacity building to deliver training in governance and

management and training and technical assistance in municipal governance and

management.

The project (estimated to be over a five (5) year period) is based on the

existing structures within the MOLGRD and the various municipalities and NDCs.

Whilst a restructure is recommended at the highest level of governance to

effectively manage SWM, it is still important to maintain the decentralised system

of administration and as such, this project is necessary.

3.2.4 Management Information Systems

Critical to any area of planning is the utilisation of timely, accurate data.

At present this seems to be very limited. Baseline data need to be established

so that performance can be measured. In order to do this, the necessary tools

are required. These include computers, networks, trained personnel and ready

internet access. The agency that is established with the responsibility of SWM

should be the repository of such information. In time, more detailed analysis can

132


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

be performed whereas the information can be compared against the performance

of other Caribbean countries through agencies such as CEHI, PAHO and UNEP.

The types of information required include waste generators, quantity of

waste collected (by waste types) etc. The “Draft Plan for the Georgetown

Municipal Solid Waste Management Department – September 2003” 4.1 , provides

some details that are required for Commercial Waste Generators.

3.2.5 Inter-Agency Coordination

The future of solid waste management cannot be divorced from the future

development of Local Government in terms of governance and management,

and the substantive increase in the awareness of businesses, NGO’s and other

stakeholders of the critical importance of effective solid waste management to

the health of individuals and communities; as well as the related implications for

economic development and job creation across the nation.

To this extent, therefore, the pacesetting must be generated at the highest

national level – the principal agencies being the Ministry of Local Government

and Regional Development, the Ministry of Health, with vital support from the

Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Housing and Water.

It is at this level that the private sector must be engaged and be required to be

energetically involved in partnering, leading, sponsoring, and investing in

management of a ‘product’ for which several of their sector are responsible.

Some of these representatives can be from the Chambers of Commerce and

Industry, the sugar and rum industries, mining and the tourism sector.

3.3 CRITICAL ASPECTS AND STRENGHTS - LEGAL AND REGULATORY

3.3.1 Sources of Law

The following has been consistently acknowledged regarding the legal and

regulatory framework relevant to the sector ‘Laws and regulations governing

solid waste management are inadequate. The often mentioned solution is the

establishment of ‘principal legislation governing solid waste management in

Guyana ….along with the necessary regulations.’ 30 Overall legislation governing

solid waste management is out of date and could benefit from adaptation to new

circumstances and new situations

The present status of the sources of laws regarding solid waste

management in Guyana is seen in fragmentation in the sources of laws, with the

laws being scattered over several legislative instruments, with varying in scope,

duties, responsibilities and sanctions. These Laws are also not easily located,

30 Guyana Municipal Governance and Management Project (Reference 2.7 at Page 29)

133


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

disseminated and sourced. This can therefore be described as a weakness in the

legal and regulatory regime governing the sector.

It should be further noted that, though, the Ministry of Local Government

will be responsible for coordinating the establishment of the regulatory

framework. This process will take cognizance of any existing legislations on solid

waste. The fact that any intended legislation will take into consideration the

existing legislation, one of the primary tasks is the consolidation of the existing

legislation in the sector.

The updating and upgrade of the laws will be a definite and continued

recommendation until completed. However a necessary precursor is the

compilation of existing laws in a single volume, for ease of reference. The

weaknesses in the sources of laws can therefore be remedied by this

recommendation. This will also make the task of review, consolidation and

updating of these laws which has been constantly advanced much easier.

3.3.2 Definition of Solid Waste

The Definitions, classification and categorisations of solid waste within the

laws, regulations and guidelines in Guyana are various, non cohesive and

scattered over several legislative instruments. This creates uncertainty in the

scope of the legislation and coverage of ‘solid waste’ within the laws. This

uncertainly also contributes to the lack of appreciation of the scope of solid waste

management strategies in Guyana. This too is a weakness in the legal and

regulatory framework governing the sector and also poses a threat to its

effectiveness.

The recommendations that address this weakness include the: review and

standardize definitions of waste and solid waste across legislation, regulations,

by-laws and guidelines. This will bring certainty to the legislative framework

governing both the sector and the agencies within and outside the sector.

3.3.3 Jurisdiction

The National, regional and municipal structure in Guyana causes overlaps

both in the duties and responsibilities of various institutions and administrative

bodies. Further the physical jurisdiction tends to conflict within certain

geographical areas; for example water ways, drains and roads within

municipalities come within the jurisdiction of other bodies. These conflicts need to

be examined and clarified. The effect of this conflict among institutions is to

produce several gaps in the management of solid waste related activities.

Collection and clearing of certain wastes may be passed from one institution to

another. The failure to acknowledge jurisdiction among various institutions, has

lead to and will continue to lead to gaps in solid waste management. For

example waste disposed of or dumped in a drainage canal within a municipality

may not be the duty of the municipality to address, rather it may be the duty of

134


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

the Drainage and irrigation board. This responsibility may however not be

accepted by the Drainage an Irrigation Board. These weaknesses and threats will

therefore need to be addressed, in improving the legal and regulatory framework

for the sector.

Further disposal activities invoke the jurisdiction of several institutions.

Application forms must be filled out by the respective municipalities or local

government and sent to the EPA, for permission to operate the landfill site. In

addition application for planning permission must be obtained from the Central

Housing and Planning Authority, Ministry of Housing and Water, and the Central

Board of Heath, Ministry of Health.’ (reference 3.3). This means, that

management may be stifled by a single institution with only a minor role in the

actual management of solid waste.

A further jurisdictional issue arises with the movement of waste among

Municipalities. This aspect is important as waste travels through the territorial

boundaries of NDCs. For completeness and cohesiveness within the sector, it

may be necessary for contacts or memoranda of understanding to be reached

among municipalities regarding the movement of waste.

The recommendations to remedy this particular weakness include

clarification of conflicts of jurisdiction, coupled with an educational plan among

the institutions may address these conflicts. Alternatively, the consolidation of all

functions within a single entity may be feasible and should be explored. This

could ease the compounded nature of the waste management process.

Further an exploration of the possible conflicts and possible solutions to these

that may arise with the movement of waste over geographically established

boundaries of NDCs and Municipalities may address this weakness.

3.3.4 Standards

This critical aspect is relevant to the delivery of services. These relate to

receptacles, vehicles and other equipment. These standards also affect

contractors in the delivery of their services, in particular having regard to the non

standardised use of receptacles by consumers. The current standards are outdated

and in most cases absent. Further there are no provisions in the laws

which prescribe standards for the analyses and characterisation of solid waste.

This textual weakness can however be developed into a strength.

It is therefore recommended that there be research and implementation of

internationally and regionally accepted standards. This will be critical to the

improvement of the current standards. Further the role of the Bureau of

standards in implementing standards in Guyana, should not be overlooked. The

introduction of new standards in several areas will be critical and must be

augmented by appropriate but flexible regulations. Implementation by way of

Regulation is suggested as these are easier to amend, than principal legislation.

135


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

This will also permit the sector to adapt easier to meet changes in standards,

supported by the appropriate legal framework.

3.3.5 Monitoring, Enforcement and Sanctions

Clarification of the roles of various bodies with powers of enforcement and

monitoring is needed, together with an adjustment in adjudicative attitudes of

Magistrates. Sanctions for offences related to solid waste vary between several

legislative instruments. These are however not known, both among those within

the sector and outside the sector.

Further, although sanctions have been increased in recent times, the

capacity to enforce these should clarified and ratified. Current offences are

seldom enforced with deterrent sanctions. Provided that the individual charged

remedies the defaults, the matter ends there.

Legislative support for monitoring functions should also be augmented, the

current provisions for notices needs to be reviewed. However, these would be

ineffective without the appropriate training and sensitization to critical issues in

monitoring. These factors contribute to reduce the effectiveness of this strength

of the sector.

It is recommended that there be some clarification of judicial attitudes as

well as collation of the sanctions. Furthermore, it would be necessary to augment

the monitoring capabilities within the existing framework; these should be

supported by regulations which provide the support for the monitoring function,

and also making provision to enforce infractions, discovered by the monitoring

function.

3.3.6 Legislative Gaps

Several gaps exist in the current legislative framework regulating the

delivery of services and the agencies associated therewith. Gaps exist in the

scope of coverage, for example river pollution is not covered in the legislation.

Modification, closure and post-closure of landfills are not sufficiently

mentioned in the scope of regulated EPA Activities. Disposal practices are also

not comprehensively covered in any legislation. Also due to vagueness in

definitions, certain activities and substances are outside the scope of legislation.

The recommendations under this critical aspect, is to fill in the gaps to

cover omitted areas of coverage, in particular to cover omitted areas which are

nevertheless an integral part of municipalities. The gaps in the legislative

framework for solid waste management, reduce the effectiveness of the attempts

to regulate and efficiently control the delivery of service. The current EPA

guidelines regarding the establishment of landfills though, a good start, omit

136


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

sufficient legal support to deal with potential legal issues which may arise in the

establishment, modification and closure of landfill sites.

3.3.7 Legislative Omissions

Incentives to promote participation in the sector should be supported by

the appropriate legislative incentives. The current players identify tax and duty

free concessions as critical legal and regulatory tools to support their

participation in the sector. The absence of these concessions restrict the

standards and maintenance of equipment currently in use, and further makes the

use of equipment of higher technical standards prohibitive.

The separation of jurisdiction for drains, and other parts of environments,

results in a separation of collection of refuse and waste from other related

activities. The effect is that refuse may be cleaned, as contracted, but drains and

parapets remain clogged and dirty. The integration of all these services within the

contracts of contractors may result in the complete and integrated delivery of

services to areas of coverage. This therefore places importance in the scope and

duties actually provided for in contracts.

Further, activities involving recycling should also be supported by

legislation, particularly at the generator level. For example the redirection of the

funds generated from Environmental levy used under the Customs Act CAP

82:01 towards solid waste management.

3.4 CRITICAL ASPECTS AND STRENGTHS; TECHNICAL AREA

3.4.1 Critical Aspects

Solid waste final disposal in Georgetown is in a critical situation as waste

is being dumped at Mandela landfill site, which does not present technical and

sanitary conditions. It does not have linings, soil cover or gas control. Leachate

resulting from the organic matter decomposition directly goes to the surrounding

canals and contaminates water. In addition, there are residential properties only

a few meters from the boundary of the site.

There is a lack of sanitary or controlled landfills all over the country. Most

localities have open dumps as a final disposal system.

Hospital and industrial hazardous wastes are handled together with

municipal solid waste in a deficient and risky way in most localities of Guyana.

There is a need for training programmes on hazardous waste management,

particularly hospital wastes, to sensitise workers on the importance of source

separation to minimize associated risks, among others.

137


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The incinerator installed inside the area of the Solid Waste Management

Department, Georgetown, is not environmentally friendly. It probably does not

reach the required temperatures for a complete and safe destruction of

hazardous solid waste, it does not have a gas washing system nor a particulate

matter retention system and the chimney is broken. Wastes are burned in the

afternoon to avoid problems with the nearby schools because of the smoke,

fumes and particulate matter.

Most municipalities and NDC’s do not have solid waste management

master plans. Public cleansing activities are carried out without proper technical

planning. Operational and technical indicators to control efficiency and take

decisions are not used in most of the municipalities and NDC’s.

Household and outdoor solid waste storage do not follow any scheme in

Georgetown or other population centres of Guyana, although there are some

regulations about it. The lack of outdoor public waste bins causes dispersion of

domestic wastes thrown by people all over the city. This is especially critical at

the seawall, where solid wastes are disposed along the shore. Public waste bins

in Georgetown are metal or plastic drums (55 gallons). Plastic drums are fixed to

the floor, and metal drums are excessively heavy to be discharged by a man and

difficult to handle, consequently wastes are burned inside them.

Most of the collection vehicles used in Georgetown are imported

compactors vehicles, designed to transport waste of low density (100-150 kg/m 3 ),

while the waste of Guyana, like other countries in the Region of Latin America

and the Caribbean, would have densities between 200-350 kg/m 3 .

Community householders without a formal solid waste management burn

or bury their waste within their own premises, or dump it at numerous, and often

highly visible, informal locations within their respective communities, such as

vacant lots, roadsides and drainage canals.

Solid waste and other kinds of refuse block the drains causing water

overflows into the streets and yards, and into the dwelling places, particularly of

the poor people.

There is a critical lack of information of solid waste management in most

municipalities and NDC’s of Guyana. There is not an information system to

collect and process data on solid waste management.

It would be necessary to re-examine the criteria for the identification and

approval of landfill sites for solid waste disposal in Guyana.

Other critical aspects in most municipalities and NDC’s are poor financial

resources, absence of studies about public cleaning services demand, low level

of education and public awareness, lack of skilled personnel, among others.

138


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

3.4.2 Strengths

The Ministry of the Local Government, as it is stated in an EPA document

(Solid waste management in Guyana. EPA. October 2001), has been mandated

by Cabinet to take the lead in solving the very significant issue of solid waste

management, and is working on a draft national solid waste policy in Guyana,

which will cover the following areas: regulatory framework; institutional and

operational framework; waste strategy; cost recovery; public awareness and

education and monitoring and enforcement.

The Ministry of Health as well as the Mayor and City Council have shown

political will to address the solid waste management issues in Guyana and are

giving support to develop related studies and projects.

EPA has established, in association with key stakeholders, the criteria for

the identification and approval of landfill sites for solid waste disposal in Guyana.

EPA carried out a study to identify suitable sites to implement sanitary

landfills in Regions 2 to 7, according to the criteria mentioned in the previous

paragraph.

3.5 ECONOMIC AND FINANCIAL CRITICAL ASPECTS AND STRENGTHS

CRITICAL ASPECTS

3.5.1 Lack of Financial Sustainability Framework for Municipal SWM due to

insufficient financial and non-financial resources dedicated to solid

waste management: The effectiveness and efficiency of the

services (labour-intensiveness - attraction of low skilled workers,

low level of equipment maintenance, limited administrative and

technical/operational capacity) is determined to a large extent by

the current level of financing for the sector. In particular:

Insufficient funds derived from property tax due to low collection

rates and outdated property valuations. The currently unrealistic

system also allows for cross-subsidisation from land-only properties

to other categories, and “free-riding” from unregistered propertyowners.

Inadequate billing system for property tax: low collection rates due

to improper enforcement and inadequate regulatory framework to

follow-up payment evasion.

Lack of municipal needs assessment to determine corresponding

levels of Government subvention.

139


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Lack of investment in the sector. Factors contributing to this are:

insufficient public and private sector capacity/scope for investment

(high import and commercial taxes, inexistence of an enabling

scenario for the private sector); private sector contractual periods

are too short to provide incentives; lack of adequate costaccounting

prevents financial planning that factors in provision for

depreciation and other investment needs (resources only cover

operational costs).

The current system does not allow for identification of taxpayers

with the service that is being paid for, which is a basic premise for

potential attempts at self-financing.

3.5.2 Insufficient information and knowledge on the real costs of SWM due

to:

Inexistence of “independent” cost centres within the SW sections of

the municipalities that enable adequate financial planning and

optimal resource management.

Incomplete and inadequate cost-accounting methods prevent

appropriate knowledge of real costs of the system and

implementation of efficiency controls through costs: no separate

accounting for solid waste management; lack of differentiation

between operational and capital expenditures: in general no

provision for depreciation of equipment, capital costs, rental costs,

maintenance costs and other indirect costs. Simple cash revenue

vs. expenditure accounting no double-entry bookkeeping, no

accrual accounting.

The insufficient knowledge of the real costs of the system

perpetuates the current lack of allocation of economic/financial

values to the costs: there is no pricing policy for solid waste

management. E.g. No economic value is currently assigned to the

fees (hospital, tipping, other) collected for specific services by the

M&CC: need for a pricing policy in order to achieve cost recovery.

Other hidden costs of the system due to inefficient organisational

management and bureaucratic procurement methods are not taken

into account.

3.5.3 Deficient financial planning due to:

Solid waste does not feature in the Government’s accounts as a

separate budget item. There are no sectoral guidelines at the basis

of financial planning for SWM. The same applies at municipal level.

Solid waste is not a sector; therefore, there is no financial system to

support its activities.

140


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

No separate funds/accounts/accounting identified at source for

SWM. This is crucial for adequate financial planning.

The current set-up with respect to revenue and expenditure flows,

public-private sector contractual arrangements and solid waste

management information contribute to the general lack of sectoral

planning, making it difficult to determine efficiency or financial

performance indicators.

3.5.4 Insufficient involvement of the private sector in the provision of

SWM/recycling services due to:

Lack of incentives to attract the private sector into the SWM

business, as collection/disposal service providers and recyclers/reusers:

no policy- based economic or financial incentives (import

tariffs, banking sector, tax structure) that could accelerate their

tapping into the current market.

Insufficient agility in the financial flows between public and private

sector, which leads to unnecessary increases of costs for the

system and lower performance. Different contractual arrangements

would encourage investment and increased returns and therefore

attract more private sector into the SWM services.

A major bottleneck is associated with collection costs of recyclable

material.

3.5.5 Deficient information framework for SWM services due to:

No systematisation of solid waste management information.

Insufficient and inadequate data reflected in the current accounting

methods.

Lack of application of effectiveness/efficiency indicators; that would

enable adequate financial/economic monitoring of the services.

Lack of establishment of clear performance standards to monitor

the public and private sector.

Lack of evaluation of economic costs and benefits of solid waste

management practices.

141


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

STRENGTHS

Increased conscience in municipalities about the importance of SW

problem, from a social and public health point of view.

Commitment of various persons in the field to radically improve the current

system: at municipal, ministerial and international level.

Increased conscience about the economic benefits of adequate solid

waste management in terms of untapped markets.

Increased interest on the part of international donors to invest in solid

waste-related areas: the IADB projects have a good focus on critical

areas.

Funds dedicated by the municipalities to SWM have been in general on

the increase and are expected to continue this trend.

The expected expansion of financial “decentralisation” would enable

municipalities more control and authority over their own resources and

financial planning.

Considering the “leaks” in the system (+10% of solid waste generated is

not disposed of correctly), there is room for more service provision in the

sector, both for collection/disposal and for recycling services: untapped

markets for solid waste service providers.

The incipient involvement of the private sector in SWM in Georgetown, as

service providers and recyclers/re-users, is definitely an opportunity for the

Government to take advantage of in the quest for developing a sector that

can recover its own costs independently from Government subsidization.

The planned upgrading of the property tax system: property registration

and updated valuation.

Current campaigns to reduce delinquency in property tax collection

(Linden).

Thorough studies on the economic benefits of adequate solid waste

management would bring to the fore palpable scenarios that would aid policymakers

in their decision-making process in favour of a framework for solid waste

management in Guyana.

142


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Threats

a) Lack of success of current upgrading of property tax collection.

b) Lack of payment culture linked to actual unwillingness/inability of the

population and business/industrial sector to pay extra charges for solid

waste: this could make very difficult, unless strongly legally enforced, any

initiative of setting up a remuneration policy for the sector.

c) Lack of policy support for all the initiatives already in place and especially

to provide incentives to the private sector’s involvement.

3.6 CRITICAL ASPECTS AND STRENGTHS ON ENVIRONMENT AND HEALTH

Environmental degradation, poor sanitation, and the consequent health

risks and negative impacts which result from improper and ineffective

municipal waste management are easily discernible along the heavily

populated coastal belt, in all the major municipalities, villages and

unstructured settlement developments in Guyana (Ref 6.5). This situation

appears to be further complicated by insufficient or no effective record

keeping and statistical data on solid waste generated by domestic,

commercial, industrial, medical, air and sea. Though even in Georgetown,

the data collected is sparse, poorly managed, and in some instances

suspect.

The absence of a national strategy or policy to treat with municipal solid

waste, though drafts exist, and the poor infrastructure and services for

collecting, transporting, treating and disposing of waste, inclusive of

special waste are other critical aspects of the sector.

Under-funding of the municipalities and poor recovery rates on property

taxes the public health and safety compliance and enforcement

mechanisms associated with municipal solid waste disposal are also

insufficient.

Other critical aspects is the absence of national programs to deal with

waste recovery, recycling and re-using activities and the involvement of

the private sector in a structured manner, and the non-existence of source

separation programs. Landfill disposal of waste in Guyana is totally

unsatisfactory.

Incineration of hazardous hospital waste is unsatisfactory as temperatures

are not high enough and emissions do not comply with international

standards. Furthermore, the residue after incineration is known to be toxic

and presents special problems because of the acid conditions in landfills

(low pH). No toxicity test is currently carried out on the waste collected.

143


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

The EPA remains ill-equipped to carry out its mandate of environmental

contamination and a database on SWM and related environmental health

impacts is absent in Guyana though fires from uncontrolled landfills and

open dumps in Guyana, and the smoke emanating from these sites are

known to aversely affect asthmatics. On the other hand there are no

epidemiological studies linking MSW to environmental health impacts

Some identified strengths are that the Ministry of Health is pursuing its

mission of disease control, and should increase it as it relates to vector

control and health sciences education, with more vigour, with these

programmes implemented, monitored, evaluated and corrected where

necessary towards the improvement of the quality of life for the population.

The Environmental Protection Agency is tasked with the management of

Guyana’s environment. The Environmental Protection Act of 1996 section

39 (6) specifies that environmental harm is to be treated as a serious

environmental issue if it involves actual or potential harm to the health or

safety of human beings that is of a high impact or on a wide scale, surely

the Mandela/Princes’ Street landfill site fits this category. The Agency is

making efforts to improve its enforceability. The Agency also has the

ability to make regulations that govern the design, construction, operation

and maintenance and monitoring of facilities for the control of pollution and

the disposal of solid waste as stated in Part X Section 68(f, n, and q).

The Mayor and City Council as well as the Ministry of Local Government

will be looking to ensure the health and safety of workers especially in

areas where much of the waste collection is subcontracted to private

companies. Employers need to ensure that workers are, according to Part

V Section 22 (1) of the Occupational Safety and Health Act 1997,

equipped with the necessary protective gear to prevent risk to their health.

Employers who fail to equip their staff as well as employees who fail to

comply with the safety regulations should be prosecuted. Better record

keeping needs to be done on the morbidity and mortality figures as a

consequence of work related illness.

The Legal system needs to support the other agencies by respecting and

upholding the laws in court. The Litter Laws need to be enforced and perhaps

doubled for every subsequent offence. Citizens who are more aware and

responsible will play a key role in the reduction of waste generation, the proper

disposal of generated waste and hence the effective management of solid waste

in Guyana.

Information management through the introduction of forms and record sheets,

development of systems, assignment and training of personnel, health records,

etc. is necessary for effective and efficient SWM. Currently, while some

information is collected there is no information management system. The

144


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

information collected is quality oriented rather than quantity-based, and is not

adequate for system use that is, for influencing program management in general

or on a sectoral basis. Furthermore, data on the diseases from inefficient and

ineffective waste disposal are not as yet readily available in Guyana nor is the

little that is available at a disaggregated level. It is for this reason that a better

management and tracking system is being recommended.

A study could be carried out in Guyana with respect to waste generation in the

various municipalities, regions, and sectors, with special attention to minimizing

solid wastes at source, recycling, and reusing.

There is need in the short term for a large suitable landfill disposal site outside

the built-up area of residential plots for Georgetown, and from the start proper

landfill operations should be introduced. The old incinerator in Georgetown

should be decommissioned and a newer state of the art landfill facility built. At

the same time there is need for small appropriate incinerators for the regional

hospitals.

3.7 CRITICAL ASPECTS/ STRENGHTS ON COMMUNITY PARTICIPATION

3.7.1 Lack of public awareness

Despite the development of new communities and increased consumption

of packaged materials, recognition of the importance of solid waste

management issues has increased. There is no coordinated national

policy – except for the EPA, a number of agencies are implementing

essentially outdated laws and regulations.

It is important to note that over successive years, none of the budgets of

the municipalities has catered for community participation in their

allocations for solid waste and other environmental services. An analysis

of the estimates of revenue and expenditure revealed that the substantive

issues of solid waste continue to receive focused attention, while

information, communication, education, advocacy and community

participation are treated in a dismissive way, if at all, in some areas. For

example, the city pays US$1.32 per ton per day for administration,

US$10.82 per ton per day for collection and US$2.51 per ton per day for

disposal services. Not one cent is spent on community participation.

An analysis of per capita of waste distribution in Georgetown by area

makes it urgent that more active emphasis be put on the participation of

local communities in solid waste management.

The willingness of local community groups to participate in programs and

projects can be observed. However, there is a lack of appreciation from

145


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

the community perspective of solid waste as a sector of economic activity

due to a lack of awareness of the advantages of recovery and household

solid waste separation to facilitate recovery.

There is weak knowledge about the requirements for the sourcing and

type of financing from funding agencies; policymakers and stakeholders

as a symptom of a not well coordinated national public awareness

program on solid waste, and no enforceable regulations to address the

many infractions in littering.

According to common opinion among educators, non-formal education is

inadequate. So far as informal education was concerned, the media paid

scant attention to the topic of solid waste management. With the creation

of Environmental Health Media Network, more and more information have

been released on sanitation matters.

In the case of formal education, coverage in the schools’ curriculum was

limited. The University of Guyana is conducting a program in

Environmental Studies where the solid waste topic is addressed within

sanitation matters.

Positive aspects and strengths could be addressed to the Health

Education Unit of the Georgetown City Council conducted programs to

promote a positive attitude towards the management of solid waste

A number of community development groups have been making strident

efforts to ensure the proper upkeep of their areas. These groups have

been mobilizing resources and working in partnership with the

municipality. In some cases, they have received financial and technical

assistance from the Council to promote their efforts. Works carried out by

these groups include the removal of solid waste from the city canals and

waterways, which impedes the free flow of waste water through these

channels. As a direct benefit, many residents find temporary employment

through this arrangement as the groups are required to employ at least

50% of its labour force from the concerned community.

GUYBERNET held a half-day training sessions once annually for about

three years, running so far to sensitize persons about the types of waste

and its disposal. The group targeted youths and women, from as far as

Bartica in Region 7 and Linden in Region 10, who traveled to Georgetown

for these sessions.

This year, the NGO participated actively on the PAHO/WHO initiative to

celebrate the “I Guyanese Cleanliness and Citizenship Day”. Hundred of

young people have been involved, also in the clean-up for “International

Coast Clean Up Campaign”. During this and other community

involvement, the group says residents were very receptive and would

assist. It was noted that in the very low income/poor communities,

146


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

residents displayed a different attitude to the group’s activity. These

residents were more involved in providing their daily survival means, but

despite this, they still displayed a measure of consciousness about health

in their disposal of waste due to some measure of education awareness.

GUYBERNET has affiliation to Partners of the Americas and UNDP, and

receives funding from these and some private business entities.

In many communities, countrywide people display an awareness of the

environmental/health risks of inadequate solid waste disposal. Many of

them expressed though that it is their expectation that the authorities in

the NDCs would provide regular cleaning services.

Through knowledge and information gleaned from a cross-section of the

communities, individuals and informal groups bind themselves together to

weed parapets and clear canals and garbage disposal dumps in their

respective areas. These activities are usually led by a community

businessman or some influential person. Residents said they their activity

becomes necessary whenever the NDC or municipalities have prolonged

delays between the services provided.

The support and commitment from organizations, agencies and individuals

may be overwhelming. However, observers, participants and members of

the institutions suggested that what could be important is to establish the

SW National Commission as a permanent group. It was suggested that at

least one activity be done each month. The commission should have a

executing body to ensure sustainability, which is necessary for objectives

to be accomplished.

Also NGOs should promote regular meetings organized at least once

monthly for groups, in order to maintain the interest of communities. Clear

objectives should be developed for the sustainability of these groups.

Partnerships should be established with other organizations, for example,

the business sector, media agencies and significant others.

Examples of community projects such as Environmentally Friendly

Community Programme; Green spaces Improvement Programme (play

parks); Bag-in-the-bus/boat project are under implementation.

147


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

4. POLICY & STRATEGY PRINCIPLES

This document suggests that the general policy for SWM should be to attain

universal coverage of SWM services in all urban developments with a population

of 500 or more inhabitants. This is to be in accordance with the goals set by

Chapter 21 of Agenda 21, which defines integrated solid waste management as

consisting of the four programmatic areas of minimisation, recycling, collection

and treatment and/or disposal. The mix and emphasis given to each of the four

programmes areas, will depend of the socio-economic conditions of each country

and city.

Another policy could be to establish a cohesive form of leadership formed by

government agencies and stakeholders involved in SWM. The steering

committee that has been working to elaborate this SWSA could be the seed of

the proposed National SWM Commission (Authority).

A national policy to promote public awareness and institutionalize community

participation in SWM in Guyana has to address the development of a general

attitude compatible with the whole notion of sustainable development. Also the

policy has to clarify the tools to the implementation of education, orientation and

training in public and private schools and other allied institutions and agencies.

Solid partnership between education authorities, the municipalities, NGOs,

community based organizations, religious groups, cultural and other agencies

and groups can assist to set up pre-service or in-service training programs for

teachers, administrators and educational planners, as well as non-formal

educators in all sectors, addressing the nature and methods of environmental

and development education, and making full use of non-governmental

organizations.

Another important matter of the policy should be the transparency of the planning

process that will attract the residents to actively participate and to take ownership

for the program, and through that, achieve workable solutions to solid waste

management, ensuring that a gender perspective is applied in any decision

related to solid waste, in order to address queries on equal opportunities for

women and men.

There must be a “cost recovery” policy which would allow the private sector to

assist by taking account of and investing in educational and training programs

and projects to raise the level of public awareness in solid waste. Corporate

citizens must be willing to pay for an efficient solid waste program.

One way by which this could be obtained is through the implementation of an

environmental tax on businesses operating in Guyana. This should be based

upon the average amount of refuse they generate on a daily basis. This must be

148


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

done by ensuring that it is issue-driven as opposed to sector-driven and be

supplemented with grants or loans on concessional terms from donors. The

authorities should translate their understanding of local solid waste management

issues and their global impact into targeted strategies and specifications to

mitigate the negative impact of the local issues in the global context.

As a matter of policy, certain official mechanisms should be put in place to

strengthen existing advisory bodies and/or establish new ones to facilitate the

“rights on information”; generation and sharing of information on the environment

in a way that would improve knowledge on the risks, empower and improve the

living conditions and the welfare of local communities. This would assist in the

coordination of appropriate projects, events and activities with and among others,

such as the different bilateral and multilateral agencies, NGOs and the media.

This could only occasion a high level of awareness on the fundamentals

involved.

Community based organizations and community development groups must be

given the facilities and other requisites to participate in discussions of

environment policies, assessments, and the decision-making process.

149


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Policies

1. All Guyanese have the right to live in a clean and safe environment.

2. Citizen participation should be mandatory at national and local levels

to achieve a sustainable management of the solid wastes.

3. Sanitary management of wastes has to be perceived as the best way

to prevent some ill-health and environmental degradation.

4. Decision making process on solid waste management should

consider human health and well-being as it first priority follow by the

technical and economic aspects.

5. Human and technological resources should be mobilized to

guarantee the right of information that all Guyanese have

independent of their social, cultural or economic status.

6. Precautionary principles, risk and environmental studies should be

adopted to avoid undesirable impacts on humans from solid waste

hazards.

7. All citizens are responsible to keep their immediate environment

clean and public authorities have the responsibility to provide a

clean and safe public environment. Those who dirty the environment

should pay penalties and the costs of recovering from the public

health and the environmental impacts.

8. Investment on solid waste management, public or private, should

include funding for human resources development necessary to

manage short-and-long-term programs.

9.

10. Sustainable management of wastes requires individuals, families and

authorities working to reduce the amount of waste production and

adopting reuse and recycling techniques.

11. Decentralization of the SWM services is necessary to provide

adequate community & technical supervision and self-implementing

capability.

150


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Expected Result 1

All urban inhabitants of Guyana having universal, equitable and integrated coverage

SWM services.

Strategies

Strategy 1

Develop and Implement a

National Solid Waste

Management Plan

(NSWP) that has a prime

objective to provide proper

services to all Guyanese

urban population.

Actions (list)

1. Produce “sw” diagnostics

2. Develop National Solid Waste Development Plan

(include short, medium and long term objectives)

3. Establish medium and long term goals and

objectives for coverage and quality of services.

4. Develop institutional and regulatory framework at

national and local levels

5. Develop technical support activities, including

training, to develop SWM in all localities.

6. Provide assistance and develop local capabilities

to have financially sustainable services

7. Ensure protection of environment and health

8. Develop public awareness campaigns and

community participation projects with emphasis in

children and teenagers. Agenda 21 defines

integrated SWM services as those consisting of

the four programmatic areas of minimisation,

recycling, collection and treatment and/or

disposal. Public awareness and community

participation should be part of the service.

Expected Result 2

Achieved high level commitment to cohesive solid waste management through the

proposed formation of a National Solid Waste Commission

Strategies

Strategy 1

Formation of Solid Waste

Commission to oversee Solid

Waste Management in

Guyana

Actions

1. Establish the Board

2. Develop Terms of Reference for this commission

3. Allocate budget to the commission

4. Develop job descriptions and responsibilities of

persons to be hired

5. Hire the necessary personnel ( eg CEO,

secretary, consultant etc)

6. Develop and strengthen mechanisms for interagency

co-operation

7. Engage stakeholders

151


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Strategy 2

Discuss the opportunity to

create a SWM Authority

1. Develop a feasibility study

2. Develop institutional and regulatory framework for

the Authority

3. Establish a minimal executing office

4. Consider minimal funding for work of the

Authority

Expected Result 3

Strengthened the Municipalities and NDC’s technical capacity to prepare and execute

sustainable solid waste management projects (Municipal Solid Waste Master Plans) and

to supervise services compliance, taking into account community participation.

Strategies

Actions

Strategy 1

Improve Human Resource

Development by training of

technicians, municipal agents,

and health agents in municipal

solid waste management

issues, including training the

trainers’ programmes.

Develop training programmes for technicians, municipal

agents and health agents in solid waste management,

including:

1.1 Solid waste characterisation.

1.2 Sweeping and waste collection and transportation

design.

1.3 Optimisation of sweeping and waste collection

and transportation.

1.4 Assessment of need for transfer stations and

transfer stations design.

1.5 Sanitary landfill design; environmental monitoring

and closure and post-closure procedures.

1.6 Determine all Agencies and Ministries involved in

SWM

1.7 Perform training needs assessment

1.8 Develop costed training plan

1.9 Execute training plan

1.10 Evaluate success of training plan

Strategy 2

Capacity Building

for municipal solid waste

surveillance and control.

1.1 Perform a gap analysis for the Municipalities,

NDCs and other Agencies on human resources

capacity

1.2 Develop hiring plan

2.1 Execute plan defining municipal scheme on

collection frequency, schedules and routes to be

served and inform the population.

2.2 Improve or develop a monitoring system with

community participation, to verify collection

service compliance (municipal or private

152


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

contracts).

2.3 Improve or develop municipalities and NDCs

capability to ensure waste is managed in

compliance with regulations and contract

schedules from collection to final disposal.

1.3 Implement use of operational, economic,

commercial, and quality indicators to control

performance of all solid waste management

stages.

1.4 Coordinate with other Projects such as the

Federation of Canadian Municipalities

Strategy 3

Promote an adequate solid

waste final disposal system in

Georgetown (IDB project).

3.1 Improve adequate streets (bins) containers for solid

waste storage

3.2 Assess environmental and health impacts of closing

Mandela landfill site (see Environmental and Health

Area) and evaluate possibility of starting the

operation of Eccles before expanding Mandela.

3.3 Consider transfer station, composting facilities and

other alternative technical measures as part of the

disposal system, to complement the proposed

modern landfill site at Eccles.

3.4 Prepare and implement the closure, rehabilitation

and reclamation of Mandela and other open dumps.

153


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Strategy 4

Strengthen mechanisms of

community participation to

involve them in taking

decisions of possible solutions

to be adopted.

Strategy 5

Promote source reduction and

source separation following

the principles of 3R: Reduce,

Reuse, Recycle.

4.1 Adopt the primary environmental care strategy 31 to

create responsibility and commitment of the

community in the solution of their health and

environmental problems related to solid waste.

Propose solutions that are compatible with the culture

and affordability of the communities, and based on

available resources.

4.2 Develop community education and sensitisation

programmes about the importance of an adequate solid

waste management and payment of services.

5.1 Develop community sensitization programs on

waste minimization, reuse and recycling.

5.2 Promote recycling activities as a method to

optimise sanitary landfill lifespan.

Expected Result 4

Information Technology (I.T.) available for decision Makers

Strategies

Actions (list)

Strategy 1

Development of Management

Information Systems for

Municipalities and NDCs

within the Commission

1.1 Determine the needs of the various departments

1.2 Develop MIS and reporting structure

1.3 Purchase software where necessary

1.4 Train persons to use software

31 Primary environmental care is an environmental action strategy to improve environmental

quality and hence improve the populations’ health and quality of life. This strategy promotes

public awareness of all environmental risks and measures to manage and control them. This is

done through a participative process that enhances the populations’ capacity to identify both their

environmental problems and suggest possible solutions with affordable proposals, compatible

with the local culture, without ignoring the national and regional context. The improvement of

sanitary and environmental conditions will only be possible with the community’s active

participation in the identification of problems, selection of alternative solutions and implementation

of these solutions.

A primary action principle for primary environmental care is the recognition that; community

participation, inter-sectoral coordination and negotiation are essential to strengthening the

capacity of local government to effectively manage the environment, to face environmental

problems and thus contribute meaningfully to sustainable development.

154


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Strategy 2

Improve IT Infrastructure for

Municipalities and NDCs

1.1 Conduct assessment of computer hardware and

accessories available at the various levels of local

government

1.2 Develop proposal for recommendations including

budgets and potential source of funds

1.3 Determine implementation schedule

1.4 Purchase equipment

1.5 Install and commission equipment

Expected Result 5

Improved, upgraded and updated of legislation and regulations for municipal and solid

waste management.

Strategy 1

Strategies

Compile all waste

management related laws in

a single easily referenced

source.

Actions (list)

1. Survey existing laws;

2. Compile laws in a consolidated volume;

3. Review consolidated volume;

4. Highlight deficiencies;

5. Establish a time table and schedule for reform;

6. Commence reform process.

Strategy 2

Streamline definitions and

classifications of waste.

1. Survey existing definitions scattered over the

various instruments.

2. Identify the various definitions.

3. Review, evaluate and highlight ambiguities

4. Create a cohesive system of classifications. This

will involve amendment and repeal of

contradictory definitions and classifications,

hence the removal of highlighted ambiguities and

overlaps;

5. Implementation of a new cohesion in the

necessary regulations and legislation;

6. Integration of new definitions, and classifications

in subsequent, laws, regulations, guidelines and

contracts within the sector.

Strategy 3

Development and

strengthening of the laws

regulating collection and

handling.

Ensure that these are

1. Review of existing laws – The 1981 City of

Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of Waste

By-laws in this regard must be comprehensively

examined to identify gaps and applicability some

twenty years later. Further, existing standards

contained in previous by-laws, not reviewed or

affected by these regulations should be

examined.

155


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

compatible with overall

strategies complementary to

a comprehensive waste

management policy, which

2. Improved laws and standards for collection are

needed. The absence of proper standards in this

regard, in particular the enforcements of those

that currently exist,

policy (though not fully

articulated in documents)

should include waste

prevention, reduction, reuse

and recycling.

creates severe problems for collectors of

waste.

3. Establish Licences and proper licensing

provisions, as envisaged by the City of

Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of Waste

By-laws 1981.

4. The use of inappropriate receptacles should be

prohibited by any regulations or guidelines

passed in this regard. This will address several

complaints of contractors presently in the sector,

and further may provide an incentive to attract

persons to invest in the sector.

5. Occupational health and safety concerns should

also be addressed within this strategy.

6. Guidelines as opposed to Regulations, may be

an option as these are easier to implement in the

existing structure.

Regulations may take too much time to

implement.

7. Tighter and more efficient contracts

management with contractors will also be critical.

8. Tighter regulation of activities, in particular

transportation of wastes to disposal sites. The

laws, which previously governed these activities

should be examined, to see whether they should

be upgraded, for example the Offensive Matter

Removal by-laws.

Strategy 4

Implementation of incentives

to reduce and minimize waste

generation.

1. Establishing legislative support for waste

reduction initiatives.

2. Establish best practice guidelines at the level of

waste generators that support waste prevention

and minimization.

3. Up-grade existing legislation which promotes

recycling, for example, the Old Metal Dealers

Act.

Strategy 5

Develop regionally and

globally accepted standards

for the sector.

1. Survey existing standards contained in

legislation;

2. Review existing standards;

3. Upgrade standards;

156


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

4. Establish a framework for inclusion of standards

omitted from the sector;

5. Integrate the Bureau of Standards and its

procedures;

6. Explore the use of guidelines as opposed to

regulations;

7. Give legislative scope for developed standards

8. Monitor implementation;

9. Provide for effective dissemination of standards;

10. Make provision for sanctions for failure to comply

with the standards set.

Expected Result 6

Introduced a holistic and coordinated approach to waste management at all levels of

authorities and sectors, this will include liaison among responsible agencies.

Strategies

Actions (list)

Strategy 1

Clarify the jurisdiction of

the various institutions and

agencies currently involved in

the sector.

1. Review legislation establishing agencies,

municipalities and NDCs. This is to

determine the extent to which Solid Waste

Management is within their scope of

Responsibilities.

2. Clarify roles of various institutions and agencies.

3. Highlight conflicts, gaps and overlaps.

4. Streamline the regulatory infrastructure removing

excessive or overlapping powers.

Expected Result 7

Implemented a proper national legal framework for solid waste management projects.

Strategies

Strategy 1

Review and consider current

and alternative methods of

solid waste management

including, storage sweeping,

collection, transportation,

transfer stations, treatment

and disposal facilities.

Actions (list)

1. Assess current practices.

2. Examine the legal implications of these practices.

3. Review provisions for incinerators contained in the

City of Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of

Waste By-laws 1981.

4. Revise and amend by-laws.

5. Review current guidelines and practices regarding

storage sweeping, collection, transportation,

transfer stations, treatment and disposal facilities.

6. Review disposal practices including sanitary

landfilling, incineration, composting and other

treatment methods.

7. Review current guidelines and plans for new

landfill sites to ensure no legal liability arises.

8. Integrate legal considerations into any plan, design

and operation of disposal facilities.

(Current landfill designs omit these

157


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

considerations).

9. Implement through guidelines or regulations.

10. Improve practices at landfill sites.

11. Research implement regional and international

best practices.

12. Ensure legal and regulatory provisions are made

for siting, design, operation, monitoring closure

and post closure care of landfill sites.

13. Provisions should be made in regulations or

guidelines to deal with the adverse environmental

consequences of any disposal method chosen.

14. Examine implications for municipalities under the

EP Act.

Strategy 2

Decreasing of illegal

dumping.

Strategy 3

Cost recovery.

1. Increase monitoring and enforcement.

2. Increase penalties and sanctions.

3. Reform judicial attitudes.

1. Charge fees for waste disposal, which more fully

reflect the real costs of operation of landfills;

2. Revise provisions for fees contained in the City

of Georgetown (Collection and Disposal) of

Waste By-laws 1981;

3. Give legislative force to this mechanism.

(Please cross reference with Policy #1 Strategy 2 of

the Economic and Financial Area)

Expected Result 8

Increased public awareness and institutionalize community participation

Strategies

Actions

Strategy 1

Implementation of national

sustainable development program

1.1. Prepare project proposal.

1.2. Make sustainable development part of the

school curriculum.

1.3. Network within industry, labour and

community bodies.

1.4. Design special training programs for

teachers and other educators in the basic

knowledge and benefits of sustainable

development and other environmental

issues.

1.5 Coordinate solid waste education with

National Health

158


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Promotion.

Strategy 2

Establish a solid

Partnership between

Education authorities,

Municipalities, NGOs,

community based

organizations and other

institutions, agencies and

groups

2.1 Prepare project proposal.

2.2 Set up pre-service or in-service training

programs for teachers, administrators and

educational planners.

2.3 Allow each municipality, NDC, NGO and

other such organizations to design their

environmental plan, which has as a main

component, community consultation and

participation.

2.4 Advocate for appropriate regulations

which would give residents the right to

develop the communities.

Strategy 3

Develop a transparent

Planning process

3.1 Ensure that all affected communities and

stakeholders are

aware of the Slid Waste Management

program, how they can

participate and how decisions are to be

made.

3.2 Design participation mechanisms and

programs to facilitate

appropriate target group consultation to

ensure that the specific

needs of specific communities are

considered.

3.3 Ensure the widest possible representation

of stakeholders,

groupings and communities on the

management team.

Strategy 4

To plan with particularity for

the gender perspective.

4.1 Ensure that community based

organizations, agencies and

groups have adequate representation for

women in their

membership.

4.2 Encourage more women to play an active

role in environmental

affairs.

4.3 Place on agendas, environmental matters

which directly

affect women.

159


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Expected Result 9

Promoted the implementation of appropriate technologies for solid waste management in

small and medium size communities.

Strategy 1

Strategies

Assess and implement appropriate

technologies for collection and

transportation of solid waste.

Strategy 2

Assess and implement appropriate

technologies for solid waste final

disposal.

Strategy 3

Assess the possibility of developing

joint projects among nearby urban

centres (coastal or hinterland

regions), to reduce solid waste

management costs.

Strategy 4

Evaluate technical and

economical feasibility for recycling

and composting projects (3Rs

principle).

Actions

1.1 Study for the use of low-cost alternatives

for collection and transportation, such as

wheelbarrows or carts pulled by an

animal.

2.1 Study for the use of low-cost alternatives

for the final disposal of solid wastes, as

the manual sanitary landfill, where

convenient.

2.2 Prepare and implement solid waste final

disposal projects.

2.3 Prepare and implement open dumps

closure and sanitation programs.

2.4 Evaluate the implementation of dry and

wet manual landfilling.

3.1 Promote inter-municipal or inter NDCs

agreements, to implement collective

sanitary landfills, sharing costs and fees.

4.1 Develop solid waste characterization

studies.

4.2 Promote source reduction and source

separation programmes (organic/

inorganic waste).

4.3 Design and implement recycling and

composting projects (domestic and

organic market waste).

4.4 Promote recycling activities as a method

to optimise sanitary landfill lifespan.

Expected Result 10

Formulated a national programme for special waste management (health-care waste

and industrial waste).

Strategy 1

Strategies

Actions

Promote the coordination of all

implicated institutions (public and

Health care waste

1.1 Perform national survey on health-care

160


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

private) for the preparation of a

national health-care waste

management plan.

Strategy 2

waste generation and characterization.

1.2 Develop technical guidelines for healthcare

waste management.

1.3 Promote solid waste minimization.

1.4 Develop / improve the regulatory

framework.

1.5 Establish training programmes for healthcare

waste management.

Promote the coordination of all

implicated institutions (public and

private) for the preparation of a

national industrial waste

management plan.

Industrial waste

2.1 National survey on industrial waste

generation and characterization.

2.2 Technical guidelines for industrial waste

management, prioritising mining (bauxite,

gold), forestry products, sugar cane

industry, among others.

2.3 Cleaner technologies and minimization

procedures from production to final

disposal.

2.4 Develop/improve the regulatory

framework.

2.5 Establish training programmes for

industrial waste management.

Strategy 3

Promote source reduction and

source separation following the

principles of 3R: Reduce, Reuse,

Recycle.

4.1 Assess hazardous waste minimization

possibilities (industrial and health-care

wastes).

4.2 Assess industrial waste clearinghouse

mechanisms (waste exchange).

4.3 Enforce using storage systems

established in the regulations.

Expected Result 11

Developed and maintained a national solid waste management information system (*).

Strategies

Actions

1.1 Prepare and maintain a data base of solid

Strategy 1

waste generation and characterization

among municipalities and NDCs.

Develop national solid waste

management information systems for

Regions, Municipalities and NDCs.

1.2 Prepare and maintain a data base of solid

waste management indicators for all

stages (sweeping, collection and

transportation, transfer and final

disposal).

161


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Strategy 2

Assess national industrial and

health-care wastes generation and

management.

2.1 Identify and register all industrial and

health-care waste generators (company

name and address; business activities,

etc.).

2.2 Prepare and maintain an inventory or

data base on industrial and health-care

waste management (nature and quantity

of waste generation; existing waste

management practices; etc.).

Expected Result 12

Promoted private sector participation in municipal, industrial and health-care waste

management (*).

Strategies

Actions

Strategy 1

1.1 Promote domestic solid waste source

separation programs.

Strength and promote private sector

participation in municipal waste

management, including waste

1.2 Assess mechanisms of direct trade

between community and interested

enterprises.

recovery and recycling.

1.3 Improve or develop the appropriate

regulatory framework.

Strategy 2

Strength and promote private sector

participation in industrial and healthcare

waste management.

2.1 Assessment of cost-effectiveness and

technical characteristics of current

methods of industrial and health-care

waste management.

2.2 Costing exercise of an adequate

industrial and health-care waste

management system.

2.3 Analysis of cost-recovery mechanisms.

2.4 Examination of incentives for private

sector participation.

2.5 Improve or develop the appropriate

regulatory framework.

162


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Expected Result 13

Mobilized financial resources for SWM services

Strategies

Strategy 1

Establishment of distinct

solid waste management

sections in

municipalities/NDCs

Actions

1.1 Separate funds specifically dedicated to solid waste

into separate accounts

1.2 Separate and streamline accounting systems for solid

waste management

1.3 Training of staff in modern accounting methods

1.4 Establish a comprehensive solid waste information

system in municipalities and NDCs

Strategy 2

Establishment of distinct

solid waste management

sections in

municipalities/NDCs

Strategy 3

Achievement of financial

sustainability in the current

municipal/NDC SWM

system in the medium/long

term

2.1 Separate funds specifically dedicated to solid waste into

separate accounts

2.2 Separate and streamline accounting systems for solid

waste management

2.3 Training of staff in modern accounting methods

2.4 Establish a comprehensive solid waste information system

in municipalities and NDCs

3.1 Update property valuation and census

3.2 Develop regular municipal financial planning system,

parallel to increased decentralization

3.3 Ensure regularity in municipal property tax collection

systems through enforcement/creation of by-laws:

optimization of collection rates

3.4 Establish a concrete framework for allocation of

property tax revenues for SWM

3.5 Secure enforcement of anti-littering by-laws

3.6 Secure enforcement of provision for tipping fees*

included in the City of Georgetown (Collection and

Disposal) of Waste By-laws, 1981.

3.7 Carry out a thorough SWM costing study at municipal

level

3.8 Study options for cost recovery/pricing policies for the

SW sector at municipal level

3.9 Evaluate municipal/NDC access to credit

3.10 Carry out a public awareness campaign at

municipal level about costing and resources needed

for improved solid waste services

3.11 Introduce appropriate cost recovery

mechanisms

3.12 Promote international support in financial and

technical cooperation

163


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Expected Result 14

Implemented the Investment Program for SWM

Strategies

Actions

Strategy 1

Creation of financial

incentives for investment in

solid waste management and

recycling-reuse initiatives

Strategy 2

Streamlining of current

arrangements between the

public and private sector

Strategy 3

Market Research for

recycling/re-use initiatives at

municipal and NDC level

1.1 Revise current import tax system on equipment and spare

parts: establish straightforward mechanisms for duty-free

concessions

1.2 Revise current banking system interest rates and policies

1.3 Revise current business tax structures and potential tax

incentives

1.4 Reassess actual nature and utilization of the funds

derived from the Environmental Levy

1.5 Evaluate feasibility of introducing plastic bottle refund

2.1 Design regulatory framework for private sector

involvement in SWM (competition, standards,

establishment of licenses and proper licensing provisions

– 1981 by-laws governing collection and disposal in

Georgetown)

2.2 Training of municipal council staff in contract preparation

and management

2.3 Revise/redraft current and future contractual

arrangements to incorporate: adequate contractual

periods, clear and detailed payment schedules,

responsibilities and obligations, adequate

supervision/monitoring mechanisms, potential

performance or payment delays-related penalties

2.4 Optimise financial circuits between public sector and

private contractors

2.5 Establish transparent tendering and contract award

framework: revise criteria and thorough implementation of

regulations

2.6 Examine potential private sector involvement in other

municipalities: study potential economies of scale in

service provision (examination and assessment of service

needs of areas: drains and parapets; potential for

divestment of these duties from municipalities; integration

of this into contracts).

2.7 Examine the feasibility and potential efficiency gains

through private sector management of the Mandela or

future alternative landfill sites

3.1 Feasibility study in the area of recycling of plastic

3.2 Study of current informal recycling/re-use initiatives

3.3 Study economic feasibility of establishing community

recycling-reuse initiatives

3.4 Introduce appropriate recycling-reuse programmes where

economically feasible

164


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Expected Result 15

Promoted and implemented environmental health programs, including waste

management, to reduce health and environmental risks associated with waste disposal

techniques and deteriorating environmental quality

Strategies

Actions

Strategy 1

Conduct EIA and Risk

management studies

Strategy 2

Develop system for

monitoring workers &

pickers health

1.1 Carry out scooping EIA and ER exercises at

surrounding landfill communities

1.2 Collect baseline information on health, environment,

and socio-economic parameters

1.3 Have public discourses and consultations

1.4 Conduct water, air and soil samples tests

1.5 Determine agents present at the sites

1.6 Determine the risks they pose to human health

1.7 Develop plan of action to deal with hazards

1.8 Develop plan of action to reduce humans to the

exposure of the hazards present at the sites

1.9 Develop good management practices for workers health

and safety at the sites

1.10 Develop an environmental management plan for the

site

2.1 Develop data sheets to capture vital bio- and

epidemiological data on workers/pickers, etc

2.2 Have regular medical checks

2.1 Provide an incentive scheme for those working in the

sector to adhere to the health and safety regulations

2.2 Have protective gear designed that are comfortable to

work with

Strategy 3

Conduct public awareness

campaign

3.1 Design a public education and awareness program for

workers, pickers, and those working at the site

3.2 Provide medical checks once every 3 months for

workers

3.3 Development of feedback mechanism to inform future

programs

Strategy 4

Develop and implement a

monitoring regime

1.1 Conduct water and air quality monitoring in Guyana’s

main rivers, with specific reference to industrial

wastewater disposal, mining activities, heavy metals,

etc.

165


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

1.2 Conduct water and air quality monitoring at strategic

points in and around waste disposal sites

1.3 Provide instrumentation to the EPA

166


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

5. PRIORITY PROJECT PROFILES

5.1 SECTORAL

The National Solid Waste Management Plan is a plan that in 10 years would have ideally

achieved universal and good quality solid waste solid services for all urban Guyanese people, in

compliance with the principles of Agenda 21. The following table present two projects that give a

general profile of the need to establish the SWM Commission and to develop the NSWP and its

medium and long term goals. Afterwards, in parts 5.2 through 5.7 detailed projects are presented

for the first 3 years of the NSWP.

DEVELOPMENT OF THE NATIONAL SOLID WASTE MANAGEMENT PLAN

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Cost

The sector needs a guideline and a programme to achieve the solid waste

management objectives.

Achieve universal coverage of sustainable solid waste management services, for

all the urban population, that comply with the principles of integrated SWM as

stated in Chapter 21 of Agenda 21. The services should be environmentally,

socially and economically sustainable and should have strong components of

public awareness and community participation.

• In 5 years the whole population of Georgetown will be receiving

excellent services solid waste management services including proper

disposal of municipal and hazardous solid waste

• In 5 years 60% of the Municipalities will be providing adequate SWM

services. In ten years universal coverage will be reached.

• In 5 year 50% of the population centres (NDCs) of 2,000 inhabitants or

more will have proper solid waste management. In 10 years universal

coverage will be achieved.

• In 5 years 30 % of the NDCs with populations between 500 and 2000

inhabitants will have adequate SWM services. In 10 years universal

coverage will be in place.

• In 5 years 25% of the local governments will have Youth Eco-clubs, and

other stakeholders, working in public awareness and community

participation to achieve appropriate recycling of inorganic and organic

materials. In 10 years 50 % of the local governments with 500 or more

inhabitants will have reached this goal

The population will have adequate SWM services, the community will have

participated, and tourism will have increased. The environment will not be

polluted.

Commission

Mo LG

EPA

Municipalities

NGOs

And all stakeholders

10 years

The cost of US$ 7´200,000 is divided into the project profiles of the areas as

follows bellow

167


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 1

Framework for National Solid Waste Commission and National Plan

Justification

It has been ascertained that there is no one agency responsible for all aspects of

solid waste management in Guyana. As a result SWM is low priority and as

such is not receiving the necessary funding required.

General

objective

To develop the framework within which the National Solid Waste Commission

would operate, produce a National Solid Waste Policy and develop the National

Plan with short, medium and long term objectives.

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

• Develop Terms of Reference

• Determine the reporting framework

• Establish the legal framework

• Establish the resource requirements (human, financial, office

infrastructure etc)

• Develop job descriptions for the personnel required

• Finalise SWM Policy

• Develop National Solid Waste Management Plan

A focused approach to SWM in Guyana with the necessary resources.

Executing

agency

Solid Waste Board

MOLGRD

Duration

2 years

Cost US $ 300,000 (A solid waste advisor is included)

168


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 2

Strengthening of SWM Capacities in Municipalities, NDCs and Other Agencies

Justification

The inability to properly manage SWM at the Local Government level has been

identified. This is due to a variety of reasons including the lack of focus and

attention paid to SWM. There is also need for improved capacity at the different

agencies involved in SWM.

General

Objective

To develop the necessary framework and mechanisms in order to develop SWM

departments. This approach would be similar to that taken for Georgetown

Municipality 4.3

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

• Identify the requirements of each Municipality and NDC

• Develop the necessary framework

• Identify the resource requirements

• Develop job descriptions and requirements

• Implement plan to strengthen SWM departments/sections capabilities

Separate departments for SWM would allow more focus to be made on waste

management and objectives and targets to be achieved more readily. There

would be closer monitoring of collection and disposal activities and development

of recycling programmes. Improved capacity in other agencies would improve

the quality of inter-agency co-ordination.

Executing

agency

Duration

CIDA & Federation of Canadian Municipalities

MOLGRD

Regional Administrative Centres

IDB (Urban Development Programme)

12 months

Cost US $ 20,000.00

169


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 3

Training and Capacity Building

Justification

At present there is a limitation to the training levels of the personnel involved in

SWM at the municipal level. There is a need for these personnel to become

familiar with many managerial techniques and improve their technical

capabilities.

General

objective

To assess the capacity of existing personnel and determine an appropriate

training plan. This project can build on the Georgetown Municipal Project.

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

• Conduct training needs assessment

• Determine training plan based on proposed plans for solid waste

management in Guyana

• Appropriate the necessary costs

• Identify possible grant and other financing agencies

• Identify possible training agencies within Guyana

• Co-ordinate Courses in management, technical, cost accounting, public

awareness etc

• Execute training

Trained personnel who can execute strategies developed by the formulation and

execution of appropriate action plans

Executing

agency

CIDA

MOLGRD

University of Guyana

Duration

12 months

Cost US $ 150,000.00

170


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 4

Information Technology improvements for Local Government and Waste Commission

Justification

The GOG is committed to improving the role of Information Technology in the

modernization of Guyana. To this end, it should be introduced and utilized in all

aspects of Solid Waste Management.

General

objective

To determine the needs of the major participants of SWM in Guyana so that they

can develop and improve the use of IT and Management Information Systems

(MIS) in the solid waste management sector through the introduction of new

computers and the related technologies.

Specific

objectives

• Perform needs analysis at all levels for both hardware and software

• Allocate budget

• Determine potential funding agencies

• Develop implementation schedule

• Procure equipment

• Implement new systems

Expected

benefits

Improved planning as a result of accurate, timely information generated and

reported.

Executing

agency

MOLGRD

IDB

Waste Commission

Duration

8 months

Cost US $ 200,000.00

171


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 5

Sources of Solid Waste Management Laws

Justification

There is fragmentation in the sources of laws: laws are scattered over several

legislative instruments, varying in scope, duties, responsibilities and sanctions.

Also the Laws are not also easily located, disseminated and sourced.

General

objective

Compile all waste management related laws in a single easily referenced source

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Ascertain the scope of legal coverage for the sector;

Survey Existing laws;

Highlight deficiencies in existing laws;

Include in the solid waste management information system. (Please cross

reference with the Institutional Framework Policy ‘Use information technology for

decision making’ and Project Information technology improvements for local

government and waste commission.’)

A single reference source for current laws governing the sector

Providing a foundation for the reform of the laws and regulations governing the

sector.

EPA, MoLGRD, Commission

Duration

Cost

3 Month

US$15,000.00

172


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 6

Law Update and Up-grade

Justification

Most of the laws relating to the sector are out dated and are not suited for

present circumstances and practices. The current standards in the sector are

also out-dated and in most cases absent.

General

objective

Create an updated legal and regulatory structure for the sector in Guyana.

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Evaluation of current framework;

Remove the ambiguities that exist within these laws;

Assess needs and determine gaps;

Fill in the gaps within the current framework;

Incorporation of international developments within legislative framework of

the sector;

Assessment of sector standards

Evaluate sector related standards

Review existing standards

Revise out dated standards

Implement currently omitted standards

Include in the solid waste management information system. (Please cross

reference with the Institutional Framework Policy ‘Use information

technology for decision making’ and Project Information technology

improvements for local government and waste commission.’)

Legal foundation and support for the modernization and development of the solid

waste sector.

Elevation of the standards for the sector

EPA, MoLGRD, Commission

Duration

Cost

Eight months

US$32,000.00 – Regulations

US$40,000.00 – Standards

173


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 7

Streamlining of Definitions and classifications of waste.

Justification

Definitions, classification and categorizations are needed as these vary through

several of the legislative instruments affecting the sector. This creates

uncertainty in the scope of the legislation and coverage of ‘solid waste’ within the

laws

General

objective

Create a cohesive and ascertainable definition of waste, across all legislation

and sectors.

Specific

objectives

Provide certainty to sector related activities

Provide certainty to contracts, regulations and guidelines

Expected

benefits

Cohesion in the legal and regulatory approach to the sector. Strengthening and

clarifying the scope of the EP Act.

Executing

agency

EPA, Commission

Duration

Cost

Three months

US$15,000.00

174


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 8

Institutional strengthening of municipalities’ and NDCs’ technical capacity to prepare and

execute solid waste management projects (*).

Justification Most municipalities and NDCs do not have solid waste management master

plans. Public cleansing activities are carried out without proper technical

planning. Operational and technical indicators to control efficiency and take

decisions are not used.

General Propose a training programme to strengthen Municipalities’ and NDCs’ technical

objective teams in the preparation and performance of integrated solid waste

Specific

objectives

management projects.

Define specialized human resources demand on solid waste management

systems at the national level.

Assess current offer of training courses, at university or non-university level.

Design of the training programme for technicians and municipal agents of the

municipalities and NDCs taking into account:

• Solid waste characterisation (per capita generation, density, composition,

moisture, etc.).

• Sweeping and waste collection and transportation design.

• Optimisation of sweeping and waste collection and transportation

through a routes and itineraries study.

• Assessment of need for transfer stations (economic breakpoint for direct

haulage and transfer) and transfer stations design.

• Sanitary landfill design; leachate and gas management; environmental

monitoring and closure and post-closure procedures.

• Use of operational, economic, commercial, and quality indicators to

control performance of all solid waste management stages.

Identify academic and educational institutions that could be in charge of

developing the training programme.

Define investment requirements to execute the training programme.

Formulate a project to seek financial agencies or international cooperation.

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Execute the training programme.

Demand and offer of solid waste management training courses at the national

level are known.

Specialized and skilled human resources in municipalities and NDCs to propose

and exec ute solid waste master plans taking into account management

indicators.

CIDA

MoH

Waste Agency

MoLG

EPA

UNIV GUY

36 months.

Cost US$ 100,000.00

175


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 9

Solid waste management in Georgetown.

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Solid waste final disposal in Georgetown is in a critical situation as waste is

being dumped at Mandela landfill site, which is not being managed as a sanitary

landfill. In addition, there are residential properties only a few metres from the

boundary of the site. There is a project proposal (IDB) to implement a modern

sanitary landfill at Eccles, on the East Bank of the Demerara River, which may

be complemented with alternative technical measures.

Assess ongoing projects and proposals to promote an appropriate solution for

municipal solid waste, industrial waste and hospital waste final disposal in

Georgetown.

Re-examine the technical and environmental feasibility of expanding Mandela

landfill site lifespan, based on a technical and environmental and health

impacts study; and evaluate possibility of starting the operation of Eccles

before expanding Mandela.

Prepare and implement the closure and post closure project for Mandela

landfill site.

Consider transfer station, composting facilities and other alternative technical

measures as part of the disposal system, to complement the proposed modern

landfill site project to be located at Eccles, on the East Bank of the Demerara

River.

Prepare the final design of Eccles sanitary landfill, including its Environmental

Impact Assessment.

Assess all relevant technologies for special waste management, including

waste minimization and recycling measures for hospital and industrial wastes.

Regarding industrial wastes, give priority to mining (bauxite, gold), forestry

industry, sugar cane industry, among others.

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Improve solid waste final disposal system in Georgetown. Protect public health

and the environment.

Recognize advantages of source reduction over hazardous waste management

in order to reduce both the long-term demand for treatment, storage, and

disposal capacity; and the quantities of hazardous waste that need to be

managed.

MoH

Waste Agency

MoLG

EPA

IDB

12 months

Cost US$ 300,000.00

176


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 10

Implementation of integrated solid waste management pilot projects considering low-cost

alternatives.

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

There is a lack of sanitary or controlled landfills all over the country. Most

municipalities and NDCs in Guyana dispose their solid wastes in open dumps;

some of them burn solid wastes or bury them without technical and sanitary

conditions. There is a lack of solid waste management master plans. Most of

these localities can be considered as small or medium size population centres,

where low-cost alternatives can be implemented, as carts pulled by animals and

manual sanitary landfills.

Develop a demonstrative integrated solid waste management pilot project in two

small or medium size selected localities.

Select two small or medium size localities.

Develop public education and awareness programme.

Strengthen technical teams of the selected localities.

Determine the appropriate solid waste collection system and recycling /

composting possibilities (developed in detail in Project 6 of the Economic and

Financial Area “Study on the economic feasibility of establishing community

recycling-reuse initiaqtives at municipal level”.

Select the appropriate site for solid wastes final disposal.

Design the manual sanitary landfills.

Implementation and operation of the manual sanitary landfills demonstrative

pilot projects.

Establishment of the tariff and collection procedure. Definition of the

mechanisms to ensure the use of these resources in the public cleaning

service.

Design and implement monitoring system

Present final report on project findings and lessons learnt (systematization and

documentation of the pilot experience).

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Environmental quality improvement in the selected localities through an

integrated solid waste management system that will be adequate to the social

and economic conditions of those cities, where the project viability will have

been previously evaluated. Projects will have established the organization and

management mechanisms, including the cost recovery tariff to ensure service

sustainability. The systematization and documentation of these pilot

experiences will allow its replication in similar localities.

National Solid Waste Commission

CIDA

IDB

18 months

Cost US $ 250,000.00

177


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 11

Pre-investment studies and investment for solid waste final disposal in small and medium

size localities (5,000 to 40,000 inhabitants).

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Precarious environmental and sanitary conditions exist in small and medium

size localities due to the lack of sanitation services and appropriate facilities for

solid waste final disposal. Currently solid wastes are burned, disposed in open

dumps or water streams.

Improve solid waste management services in small and medium size localities

by developing manual sanitary landfills.

Assess joint facilities amongst nearby NDCs

Design technical projects for solid waste final disposal in at least 30 small and

medium size localities, including cost-recovery analysis and recycling options.

Training of municipalities and NDCs technical teams in 30 small and medium

size localities on construction, operation, maintenance, closure and postclosure

of manual sanitary landfills.

Assess special waste generation and treatment and final disposal options.

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Appropriate solid waste final disposal systems to enhance public cleansing in 30

small and medium size localities, protecting public health and the environment.

Permanent job generation for local people in at least 30 small and medium size

localities, for the manual sanitary landfills operation and recycling facilities.

Ministry of Health

MoLGRD

IDB

CIDA

Municipalities and NDCs

2 years

Cost Pre-investment studies: 30 x US$ 10,000 = 300,000.00

Investment studies: 30 x US$ 50,000 = 1,500,000.00

178


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 12

Organization of Ecoclubs and other stakeholders, in 2 municipalities and 10 NDCs to promote

participation and provision of small manual recycling facilities to support the activities including

production of compost

Justification Youth and children are the most important elements of the future of environmental and

health aspects of sustainable development. Organising the young and other interested

stakeholders guarantees success of the programme.

General

objective

To have 12 communities actively working in recycling with intense community

participation

Specific

objectives • To involve youth in SWM and environmental activities

• To initiate recycling activities at the community level

• To comply with postulates of Agenda 21

Expected

benefits

Executing

Agency

Duration

Cost

Participation of the community

Recycling of inorganic materials

Recycling of organic materials and diminishing air and water pollution potential from

landfills

30,000 inhabitants actively participating

NGOs at national and local levels, Ecoclubs, under supervision of a Subcommittee of

the Comission

5 years

Plants for 30 ton/days at $30,000 per ton = US$ 900,000 plus US$ 100,000 fpr

organisation and training Total US$ 1´000,000

179


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 13

Information system development and maintenance (*).

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Most of the municipalities and NDCs do not have an information system to

collect and process data on solid waste management: service coverage

(sweeping, collection and transportation, treatment, final disposal), waste

characteristics, costs, etc.

Lack of information:

- Makes appropriate solid waste management planning difficult.

- Does not allow an adequate performance and productivity assessment.

- Does not allow transparent private sector participation.

Design and establish an Information System on the Solid Waste sector that will

provide timely, accurate data for informed decision making.

Design and implement a system for contractor registration and certification.

Design and implement a system for collecting SWM data (including hospital

waste, industrial waste) from Municipalities and NDCs.

Define a system for waste generators for collecting relevant SWM data including

quantities, contractors used, treatment methods and final disposal system.

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Design of policies, plans, strategies and investments will be based on data base

developed by the Solid Waste Information System.

MoLGRD

MoH

Municipalities, NDCs

IDB

6 months

Cost US $ 30,000.00

180


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 14

Especial waste management (includes hazardous medical and industrial waste) for the

control of HIV and Hepatitis transmission in hospitals

Justification Medical waste handling in Georgetown, as observed is not satisfactory. The 50

year old incinerator does comply with modern treatment standards It has been

documented in Europe, Japan and the United States that improper handling of

waste has caused hospital personnel infections including HIV/AIDS.

The quantities of industrial and services hazardous waste produced in Guyana,

and this step is necessary to establish a national hazardous waste plan.

General

objective

Specific

objectives

To determine needs at a national level and provide incinerators (two chamber

starved air) or any other acceptable treatment equipment and to retrain hospital

and solid waste personnel in proper handling methods.

To make a rapid assessment of industrial waste in Guyana and develop a

national hazwaste plan.

• Make a national rapid assessment of quantities produced (2 months)

• Determine needs of equipment and training

• Buy, provide, install equipment and train personnel throughout Guyana

(equipment should be not larger than needed since operation is very

expensive possibly six incinerators may be needed)

• Obtain list of industry and large service providers in Guyana.

• Make rapid assessment of quantities and types of waste

• Develop a hazardous industrial waste handling national plan

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

The hospital waste handling in Guyana will be up to international modern

standards

EPA will have a clear picture of the industrial hazardous waste production in the

Country and the first draft of a plan for proper handling of these wastes

MoH

Commission

EPA

5 years

Cost Hospital waste US$ 600,000

Industrial assessment US $100,000

181


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 15

Provision of collection equipment to smaller localities

Justification

General

objective

Smaller localities that do not have a SWM service will be provided equipment on

a first time only basis.

Larger municipalities should buy their own equipment or contract private

collectors to provide the service

To provide first time collection equipment for small NDCs

Six urban centres a year will have upgraded services

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Assist municipalities in macro-routing and micro-routing projects

Provide manual and mechanical equipment as needed

Implement and calibrate collection routes

People of smaller and medium sized communities will have SW collection

services for the first time

Commission

Municipalities and NDCs

MoLG

MoH

5 years

Cost US$ 1,500,000

(Note Georgetown private contractor would need an investment of 2 million US

during those same five years to renovate collection fleet, and the other

municipalities and estimated additional 1 million)

182


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 16

Design and implementation of a Solid Waste Information System at municipal level*

Justification

General

objective

The current generalized lack of systematized and reliable technical or financial

information on solid waste management at municipal level impedes appropriate

knowledge of the cost structure of SWM, hinders financial and technical control,

as well as performance monitoring and adequate planning in the solid waste

management services.

Establish and implement a comprehensive and systematized solid waste

information system in municipalities that encompasses useful technical,

economic, social and environmental indicators for solid waste management.

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

Agency

Duration

Cost US$ 100,000

1. Define information needs at municipal level: identification and registration

of solid waste generators; volumes and nature of solid waste generated;

current collection/transport/disposal procedures; financial framework:

municipal revenues, payers in the system, payments by category.

2. Design and systematize databases with the existing information

3. Investigate adaptability of COSEPRE to Guyana municipal context

4. Develop operation manuals

5. Train municipal staff in the utilization and updating of the databases

• Adequate financial and technical planning at local level

• The use of effectiveness/efficiency indicators for adequate monitoring of

the services

• The establishment of clear performance standards to monitor the public

and private sector

• The evaluation of economic costs and benefits of solid waste

management practices

Municipalities

EPA

National Solid Waste Commission

One year

183


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 17

Analysis of current cost structures, demand and alternatives for cost recovery for SWM services

at municipal and NDC level

Justification

General

objective

Municipalities’ and NDCs’ current records and accounting systems do not contain

accurate information on the real costs of their solid waste management services,

impeding the implementation of efficiency controls through costs; perpetuating, in

addition, the current lack of allocation of economic/financial values to the costs of

these services. Any cost recovery model to be designed should have as basis the

understanding of the true costs of the service, as well as the population’s demand and

willingness/ability to pay. This information is crucial in order to discover the exact

deficits in the system and if the private sector and the general population are to be

considered payers in the system.

To achieve accurate knowledge of the demand for and the real costs of the solid waste

management system at municipal and NDC level as the basis for correctly determining

current investment needs and cost recovery models at local level.

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

Agency

Duration

Cost US$ 150,000

1. Determine the sampling methodology for 10 municipalities and NDCs.

2. Analysis of the SWM cost structures of 10 municipalities and NDCs: nature of

users, current fees charged, costs of the service (direct and indirect operational

and capital costs, including equipment maintenance, personnel, investment,

depreciation costs); costs by activity: sweeping, cleansing,

collection/transportation, disposal, administration; hidden costs (organisational

management, bureaucratic procedures); unit costs.

3. Investigate adaptability of COSEPRE to Guyana municipal context.

4. Analysis of behaviour, attitudes and practices of the sample population regarding

solid waste management.

5. Study of willingness/ability to pay of the users of public cleansing service.

6. Research technical and financial collection/transportation/disposal alternatives to

achieve cost-efficiency (examine and assess ‘vertical’ service needs of

geographical areas, composting, recycling/reuse, industrial and health-care

waste).

7. Propose cost recovery alternatives for each municipality including possible

subsidisation structure: coordinate with IADB initiatives for Georgetown.

8. Definition of permanent mechanism to promote public cleansing services.

9. Implement a public education and awareness campaign at municipal level about

costing and resources needed for improved solid waste services.

• The allocation of appropriate economic and financial values to the services,

allowing for the implementation of accurate cost recovery mechanisms at

municipal level

• The correct determination of current investment needs

• Increased popular and private sector knowledge of the real costs of the system

and its operational and financial characteristics should result in increased

willingness to pay and invest in the sector

• Overall sustainability of the municipal solid waste management services

Municipalities & NGOs

Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

National Solid Waste Commission

Two years

184


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 18

Quantification of negative externalities of the solid waste management system in Guyana

Justification

General

objective

No studies have been carried out in the area of quantification of the negative

impacts of current solid waste mismanagement in public health and the

environment. These specific externalities, if duly quantified, can accurately

reflect the hidden costs to the country of a poorly managed solid waste sector.

This knowledge contributes to a more accurate scenario to guide policy-makers

and serves to point to the potentially significant economic benefits of investing in

a well-managed solid waste sector.

To achieve detailed and accurate knowledge of the economic value of the

negative impacts of the current system of solid waste mismanagement in

Guyana as a basis for adequate decision-making at policy level.

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Cost US$ 40,000

1. Analyse the economic value of public health and environment-related

externalities derived from solid waste mismanagement: loss in working

hours due to absenteeism, loss in productivity, loss in production, loss of

earnings, mortality rates and their effect on the country’s tax base, medical

and insurance costs, effects on tourism, etc.

2. Analyse alternative practices and comparative positive economic values

(reduction of solid waste at source, costs of proper disposal compared to

costs of cleaning drains due to clogging, costs of public education

campaigns due to solid waste mismanagement, economic value of waste

recovery through recycling/reuse, increase in land/property values through

recovery/improvement of sanitary landfills, etc.)

3. Establish comprehensive scenario with clear economic implications at

macro- and micro level.

• The knowledge of the “hidden” costs of solid waste mismanagement will

considerably ease decision-making in terms of investment in appropriate

systems

• Improved consumption and behavioural patterns

• Considerable savings for the country can be derived from the above,

which can be diverted to other priority areas.

Ministry of Health

Ministry of Labour

University of Guyana

EPA

Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

National Solid Waste Commission

6 months

185


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 19

Design of fiscal and economic incentives framework for investment in SWM and

recycling/reuse initiatives

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Insufficient involvement of the private sector in the provision of solid waste

management services and recycling/reuse of waste in Guyana has its origin in

the lack of fiscal, economic and legal incentives.

To define a conducive legal and policy framework of fiscal and economic

incentives that will stimulate the participation of the private sector in solid waste

management and recycling/reuse.

1. Examine current import tax system

2. Examine current banking system interest rates

3. Examine the potential for opening special “solid waste desks” for

preferential financial services at banking institutions

4. Examine current business tax structures

5. Reassess actual nature and utilization of the funds derived from the

Environmental Levy

6. Design a conducive legal framework of incentives and alternatives for all

the above

7. Implement framework

• Establishment of straightforward mechanisms for duty-free concessions

on import of equipment and spare parts

• Introduction of differentiated interest rates and taxes for SWM service

providers and recyclers/reusers

• Allocation of Environmental Levy to solid waste management-related

initiatives

Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

Ministry of Finance

National Solid Waste Commission

3 months

Cost US$ 25,000

186


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 20

Training of municipal council staff in contract preparation and management*

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

Current contractual arrangements between the public sector and private

contractors for the execution of solid waste services are not satisfactory for

either side, affecting service performance, investment in the sector, the scope

for adequate monitoring, etc. The design of a streamlined framework for publicprivate

partnership is at the basis of an adequate solid waste service delivery.

To establish a streamlined framework for the collaboration between the public

and the private sector in the delivery of appropriate solid waste management

services.

1. Revise/redraft current contractual arrangements to incorporate: adequate

contractual periods, clear and detailed payment schedules, responsibilities

and obligations, adequate supervision/monitoring mechanisms, potential

performance or payment delays-related penalties, optimised financial

circuits between public sector and private contractors

2. Train municipal council staff in contract preparation and monitoring

• Enhanced and clearer contractual arrangements between public and

private sector

• Trained municipal council staff

• Improved monitoring of performance

• Increased incentives for investment in the sector

• Improved standards

Ministry of Local Government and Regional Development

Municipalities

National Solid Waste Commission

2 months

Cost US$ 15,000

* This project will be coordinated with Priority Project Profile 3 “Training and Capacity Building” –

Institutional Area. In addition, it is in line with the Priority Project Profile 1 “Institutional

Strengthening of municipalities’ and NDCs’ technical capacity to prepare and execute solid waste

management projects” –

Technical Area.

187


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004

Project 21

Study on the economic feasibility of establishing community recycling-reuse initiatives at

municipal level*

Justification

General

objective

Specific

objectives

Expected

benefits

Executing

agency

Duration

There is an informal market of waste-pickers involved in recycling/reuse of solid

waste that feeds an incipient formal sector, proving that there is untapped

potential for this type of initiative in Guyana, which could aid in reducing

unemployment and underemployment in the country. However, given the

generally high costs of implementing recycling/reuse initiatives, a feasibility

study should be carried out to determine whether a community initiative of this

kind is viable in Guyana.

To determine the feasibility of establishing community recycling/reuse initiatives

at municipal level.

1. Analyse the costs of land and of establishment of community redeeming

centres

2. Analyse the current informal-formal linkages in recycling/reuse initiatives

3. Examine appropriate technologies and economics of collection,

separation, sanitation and recycling/reuse

4. Study the costs of community training needs

5. Carry out research on current and potential markets for recyclables and

reused solid waste

6. Determine economic feasibility at municipal/supra-municipal level

The implementation of community-based recycling/reuse initiatives is expected

to achieve:

• Improvement in conditions of living for the population through creation of

formal employment

• Reduction of solid waste management and disposal costs

• Revenues from untapped markets

• Health and environment benefits related to adequate separation at

source, sanitation and disposal of solid waste

Ministry of Labour

EPA

National Solid Waste Commission

3 months

Cost US$ 30,000

188


Solid Waste Sectoral Analysis

Government of The Cooperative Republic of Guyana

PAHO/WHO2004