The City Maintenance & Management Department of the Grand Bahama Port Authority, Limited (GBPA) is collaborating with the Disaster Reconstruction Authority (DRA) to carry out post-hurricane debris collection and disposal in private subdivisions.
The effort kicked off on Friday, August 7, 2020 in the Sunset and Regency subdivisions. The teams moved onto debris collection in the private subdivisions of Hudson Estates, Royal Bahamia Estates, Bahama Terrace. Troy McIntosh, GBPA’s Deputy Director of Building and Development Services, said, “Since September of last year, the GBPA has spent a significant amount of time and resources ensuring that bulk debris is removed on a consistent, scheduled basis from all subdivisions for which we have responsibility. However, some subdivisions that are privately owned by developers have not been serviced in the same way post the storm. Our partnership with the DRA in this regard is a tremendous help to those communities still needing to be cleared of bulk debris.
“The tremendous amount of damage to the island from Hurricane Dorian was evidenced in the debris on the verges near thousands of homes that sustained flood and other damage,” continued Mr. McIntosh. “Post-Hurricane Dorian, the GBPA continued the collection of bulk trash across the city of Freeport within the subdivisions we are responsible for. Between September 3, 2019 and July 25, 2020, over 24,000 loads of debris weighing almost 98,000 tons were collected and disposed of at the Pineridge Landfill, representing ten times more debris than was collected in 2016 after the passing of Hurricane Matthew.”
To support the recent partnership, the GBPA provided the DRA with maps to enable both entities to coordinate efforts and clear all designated areas efficiently. Additionally, to help expedite the clean-up process, the GBPA organized with Lou Carroll, General Manager of Sanitation Services Company, Limited the use of four trash and two roll-off trucks to provide the DRA with much-needed heavy equipment. The GBPA also gave special approval for the clearing of additional land to dispose of bulk debris on a temporary basis, which will be later cleaned up.
Iram Lewis, Member of Parliament and Minister of State for Disaster Preparedness, in conjunction with Minister Michael Pintard, Member of Parliament and Minister of Agriculture and Marine Resources and their team of private contractors, mobilized to collect bulk debris in the various subdivisions. Minister Lewis said, “During this initiative, our desire is to protect life and property during this hurricane season. The removal of the excessive bulk trash meant less risk of projectiles during inclement weather. We are pleased to be partnering with the GBPA on this initiative because together we are able to help even more residents keep their surroundings clean.”
Since Hurricane Dorian, residents continue to rebuild and restore their homes. Contractors and NGOs can be seen on a daily basis working to repair homes, especially those that suffered roof damage. “We are encouraging residents to continue to safely carry out storm-related repairs to their homes, while following the emergency orders, especially now with the 2020 Hurricane Season,” added Mr. McIntosh. “We are also aware that this continued work will cause construction-related debris to increase. Although our bulk trash appliance, vegetation and furniture disposal efforts continue, we encourage residents to help support the clean-up effort by having their construction debris trucked to the Pineridge Landfill for proper disposal, as this is not a part of the weekly bulk trash service offered by Sanitation Services Company, Limited. Let’s all do our part to keep Grand Bahama clean.”