A new solid waste act passed in Parliament has given the Ministry of Environment control over of the Dominica Solid Waste Management Cooperation.
The Dominica Solid Waste Management Cooperation is a duly established body that is charged with essential responsibility of management and providing waste collection and disposal services in the state.
Minister for Environment, Rural Modernization and Kalinago Upliftment, Hon. Cozier Frederick stated that “the need for waste management services in Dominica cannot be ignored as it plays a fundamental role in the preservation of our environment and reducing the impact of health related issues associated with poor waste management practices.”
He explained that the Solid Waste Act of 2002 provides the legal mandate to the cooperation, noting that it is therefore the basis for carrying out the cooperation's functions and as a result, stipulates the governance structure and the duly authorized Ministry that carries the portfolio.
“In its present interpretation the Act issues executive powers to the Minister with responsibility for Health as the sole custodian for legislative matters related to solid waste management cooperation. Similar in e.g. 1.1 of the act provides guidance for the composition of the board of directors of the cooperation,” Hon. Frederick noted.
Minister Frederick went on to say that “the Government of Dominica is dynamic and innovative in our approach to building a resilient country.”
“Therefore, initiatives and portfolio changes will be undertaken, all of which are geared to improving the livelihoods of the people of Dominica. Presently the portfolio of waste management lies within the Ministry with responsibility for the environment,” the Environment Minister stated.
The new bill amends the Solid Waste Act of 2002, to provide executive powers to the Minister responsible for Waste Management at any point in time.
Hon. Frederick then explained that the amended act allows greater flexibility in ensuring the appointment of persons to properly manage the cooperation.
“The Solid Waste Amendment Act of 2021 will amend the Solid Waste Act of 2002 and has four clauses. The short title of this Bill is set out in Clause 1 and Clause 2 is the interpretative clause. Clause 3 will amend the definition of the word Minister specifically for the Minister responsible for the Solid Waste Management. Clause 4 of the Bill would amend the constitution of the cooperation in schedule 3 of the Act to provide for greater flexibility in ensuring the appointment of members who possess the necessary competencies and skillsets to manage the cooperation,” Hon. Frederick stated.
“Without these necessary legislative amendments the Ministry responsible for the cooperation and the board of directors cannot perform some of its functions and duties. Mr. Speaker, this Bill certainly signals the commitment of this Government to ensuring the efficient and effective discharge of waste management services in the state,” the Minister further added.