CHARLES KONG SOO
"Buying scrap iron old battery buying" or the theme song from the American comedy show Sanford and Son were not heard in Eco Park, St Helena, on Thursday.
The two men picking through the garbage there salvaging scrap metal and loading it into their pickup gave that junk collecting feeling, however.
A dump truck from V & V Contractors, from St Helena, had just disgorged its tray of garbage.
The park was being used as a staging site by contractors to temporarily dump garbage and flood destroyed items from the surrounding areas.
Residents who could not salvage their household appliances, furniture, and items from the floodwaters placed them curbside for pickup.
Don't call them junkmen, call them waste controllers, recycling technicians, steel salvagers, antique fanciers, classic restorers or junk pirates.
One man's junk can be another man's treasure and there is a veritable treasure trove in restoring tossed out furniture and household goods. Just be wary of buying cars at ridiculously cheap prices in flooded out areas, though. With a little elbow grease, drying out, sandpapering, a new coat of paint or varnish, new upholstery, water damaged cupboards, wardrobes, tables, chairs, are given new life by these junkyard entrepreneurs at bargain prices.
The Sunday Guardian contacted the Tunapuna/Piarco Regional Corporation Councillor for St Augustine South/Piarco/St Helena Khublal Paltoo, whose purview the park falls under for his comment on the situation.
Paltoo said, “It was done in order to speed up delivery and pickup. The Eco Park is a public-private enterprise and is not owned by the corporation.
“We got some volunteers and backhoes and trucks from some contractors to help. The garbage pile-up on the main road was causing traffic, so we store it there at the park and will move it (this) weekend.
“It is a fantastic idea to speed up operations if you have one truck to go Port-of-Spain (Beetham landfill) and come back and have to wait until it comes back.
“We also have a backhoe on standby all the time here and most of the trucks are from the area, V&V, A&A, and Sat Sais.”
When asked who authorised the park to be used for that purpose, Paltoo told the Sunday Guardian to contact the park’s coordinator, Bobby Marajh.
When contacted, Marajh said it was the St Helena Development Corporation who were the owners of the park and he was one of the directors on board.
He said it was a temporary measure to ensure the area was cleaned up quickly after the flooding.
Marajh said the contractors gave the assurance that they will restore and sanitise the park and also repair any structural damage that may have been caused.