Zoomlion Ghana Limited has suspended services to the Ho SSNIT Flats, a class residential area in the Ho Municipality, over the non-payment for services.
A team from the waste management company retrieved all waste bins in the community, which had a population of more than 2000.
Mr Noah Gyamfi, the Private Jobs Manager of the Company in the Volta Region, told the Ghana News Agency (GNA) that the extreme measure became necessary, following years of accumulated arrears, in addition to recent indebtedness, which affected its operations in the Municipality.
He said efforts to reach residents for a compromise had not been smooth and, therefore, the measure was expected to help awaken sanitation responsibility.
He said residents had resisted attempts to deploy more bins to the residential area, forcing the Company to make more refuse collection runs than budgeted.
Mr Gyamfi said inflation and rising fuel cost forced the Company to consider an end to years of service considerations despite debts that run into thousands.
“A block with about 40 apartments has only three bins. We have tried all means and they are not coming for the bins and so we want to serve households individually. The ratio of bins to the households is too small,” he lamented.
Mr Gyamfi said staff remuneration despite the unpleasant and hazardous work had been affected by the revenue losses.
He, however, noted that the effects of the service withdrawal had been positive as the debts were being cleared.
“People are now showing up to pay”, he said, adding that over 2000 refuse bins remained unclaimed in the region as patronage of the essential yet lower-cost service remained poor.
Mr Gyamfi gave the assurance the refuse bins would be returned once the payments were cleared.
GNA saw dumping sites around the residential area swelling with refuse as the service termination entered the second week.
Some residents had discovered waste pits around the vicinity, raising fears of environmental and health disasters.
The Ho Municipal Assembly was working with both sides towards a compromise and had charged the residents to settle the debts.
Mr Solomon Denyo, the Regional Manager of Zoomlion, said the SSNIT Flats neighbourhood counted among the worst in service appreciation, and that the Company would consider such extreme measures in addressing similar challenges across the Region.
He said the company was working with stakeholders, including the Environmental Health, in enforcing sanitation disciplines, adding that the Assembly’s newly gazetted by-laws were expected to help promote sanitation culture.
He revealed the introduction of tricycled dumpsters to help access remote communities and spoke of plans to introduce polythene waste bags that would help encourage sanitation in commercial centres.