Nov 10, 2017  Features / ColumnistsFreddie Kissoon

I live in a community that is a so-called gated one although there is no gate at the entrance. But there is only one road in and one road out. Because of its geographical location in Turkeyen, the community does not see public traffic. So it is a closed off community that when you see a car it is either a resident or a taxi. A rough count shows there are sixty households in the community.
Let us rewind the tape to Robeson Benn as Minister of Works in November 2010. His crew came to clean the southern Turkeyen trench on the Railway Embankment. My house sits next to that waterway. The entire trench was cleaned of the foliage except the part outside my home. Please Google the media coverage of that event.
On Tuesday, the new contractor for garbage pick-up for Turkeyen/Cummings Lodge cleared every bin in our community except mine. The day before, I helped to tie the large plastic bags that contained the resulting garbage from my friend’s mother-in-law party in the compound. There were six huge garbage bags. On Tuesday afernoon while there, I noticed the truck coming. Yet when I left home an hour later my bin was still not cleared. Where was the truck? Something was not right because the plastic bags I wrapped were all gone from my friend’s home. These were placed next to his bin.
On Tuesday evening on return from the Giftland Mall compound where I take my dog for a nightly walk, I looked into the bins of a few households and they were empty. As I drove past my neighbour’s residence, I stopped and looked into her container. It was empty. It meant the truck missed my home.
freddie-kissoon-300x273I raised the issue with my daughter and wife. My daughter came out with me and we went out and shone the torch into a few bins along the streets. They were all empty. The collectors did not pick up my stuff even though my neighbour’s container was literally a few feet from mine.
That night I called Debra Lewis, the PRO of City Hall. Ms. Lewis is one of those public relations officers that is indeed pleasant. I told her I have a problem and would like to get in touch with the head of Solid Waste Management of the City Council. She asked for a description of the problem but I told her I would get back to her based on the position of that person.
She put me in touch with Mr. Walter Narine, the head of that section.
I never spoke with Mr. Narine before but this gentleman was extremely polite and attentive. He said he has no explanation for what happened but he will get in touch with the owner of the contracting service and he, Narine, would personally see that my bin is cleared early in the morning, the next day. At six O’clock the next morning (Wednesday), a man was at my gate. He drove up with a fairly new car and began looking around. My bin was right there.
I came out, went to the gate and asked him for an explanation as to why my bin was not emptied. What you are about to read is disgusting, depraved, incredible and unbelievable. This was the owner of the contracting service. He told me the bin was never put out. I couldn’t control my rage. I turned right away and headed back inside with these words to the man; “I would not stand here and let you insult my intelligence.” He was hostile and as I walked away, he uttered some unpleasant things about me.
If you are a rational person and a decent human you would know from that man’s reaction that my bin was deliberately left untouched by the cleaners. Someone instructed the garbage collectors not to empty my container. What was unnerving about this situation is that my family had to go through this ordeal seven years ago with the trench.
From that untouched bin on Tuesday night right up to the time of writing, my wife cannot come to grips with what has happened. Then in her own way, she said something that solved the puzzle.
She said she never misses the garbage truck when it comes because of the noise it makes. That is absolutely true. We hear it when it comes all the time. What they did this time was to cut off the engine at the head of the road so we would not know they had arrived and they rolled all my neighbours’ bins to the truck. Is this the beginning of a victimization campaign?