Less Than 40 Percent of Havana’s Garbage Collection Teams Are Operational

Photos of the Lawton neighborhood in Havana, a few meters from the 30 de Noviembre polyclinic. (Cortesía)

14ymedio biggerEFE (via 14ymedio), Havana, 23 August 2023 — Less than 40% of Havana’s garbage collection equipment is currently operational, the official Cuban newspaper Granma reported Wednesday, an issue that has been the subject of criticism in recent months.

The governor of Havana, Yanet Hernández Pérez, offered this and other data in a meeting with representatives of the Government, in which she explained that only 39% of the 440 community service teams “keep working,” and that their “technical availability” is reduced to 40% due to the lack of “tires, rims and batteries” for the garbage collection vehicles.

She also indicated that 11 of the 29 garbage trucks of the Provincial Community Services Company are currently paralyzed.

Cuban Prime Minister, Manuel Marrero, who chaired this meeting, urged the audience to “not leave Havana alone,” recalling its “complexity and magnitude” as the capital, and he asked “all municipalities” to “look for alternative solutions,” because in his opinion there is a lack of organizations, companies and economic actors to support these services.

According to Granma, Marrero insisted on “extreme organizational measures” for the collection of solid waste, because “in a city like Havana there has to be planning.”

The capital, with about two million inhabitants, generates around 23,814 cubic meters of waste daily, according to official data, of which more than two-thirds correspond to the activity of “home services and waste.”

The accumulation of garbage in the streets and the irregularity of the collection services have been reported on multiple occasions in recent months, mainly on social networks and in the independent media.

The frequency of collection has also been reduced, and sometimes, given the accumulated volume, it is carried out with excavators or cargo vehicles that allow waste to be dumped.

Cuba has been suffering a serious crisis for more than two years due to errors in national economic policy, which the State insists on attributing to the COVID-19 pandemic and the U.S. “blockade.”

Independent experts also point to bureaucratic problems, management failures, neglect and lack of human capital due to the heavy emigration experienced by the country.

Translated by Regina Anavy 


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