Robert Dalley | Time for change at the NSWMA
A letter penned by David Minott and recently published in The Gleaner, stated, in part: "We now have a new (head of) the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, and a bright, capable chairman, Dennis Chung. Hopefully, they will not follow the failed policies of past administrations, pursuing private waste-collection contracts at unrealistic rates."
This is a good point. I first wish to commend the newly appointed head of the NSWMA, the irrepressible Mr Gordon, and I hope that he has an excellent and successful tenure in this senior government-agency position. He needs to begin to meticulously and expeditiously proceed to clean up the vast amount of issues facing the agency and ensure that taxpayers begin to get value for money from their tax dollars. The issues and problems that have been plaguing the NSWMA have gone on for far too long and must be forcefully extricated from the authority once and for all.
There needs to be efficiency across the four garbage-collection agencies which fall under the direct control of the NSWMA. I urge Mr Gordon to completely reorganise them so that they can become effective, efficient and high-performing garbage collection agencies and do the jobs that they are being paid to do. Citizens across the country have been consistently complaining about the nasty, filthy and downright scandalous state of the parishes in which they reside. We need action to allow those four publicly funded garbage-collection agencies throughout the country to get the job done each day in a manner that will help keep all our parishes immaculately clean.
New policy needed
The city of Montego Bay is suffering from a severe lack of effective daily garbage collection, including at the Charles Gordon Market. The market constantly has uncollected garbage around the facility, an indictment on the NSWMA and Western Parks and Markets. On December 14, I heard Mr Gordon on the radio explaining that he would be implementing certain designated performance targets for the four serving regional directors of the NSWMA and sternly hold them accountable for their performance. This is an important new policy being implemented by Mr Gordon. I hope that he adheres to his promise to hold them accountable, and if they fail to perform and flagrantly waste taxpayers' money they ought to be immediately sanctioned. A new policy is needed whereby garbage collection includes separation of plastic bottles, metal and paper. The law should stipulate that they be separated and packed in garbage bags for collection by the NSWMA and a recycling plant established in Jamaica to process and recycle plastic and metal.
Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie needs to organise the purchase of another 15 modern, well-equipped garbage compactors for the NSWMA. Mr Gordon is definitely the perfect choice for the new position of CEO of the NSWMA, and he now needs the local government minister to purchase those additional trucks for the authority.
Equip the NSWMA with the required number of trucks and allow the authority to dispense with the need to contract private persons with garbage trucks and compactors to work for the authority. Private contractors are costing the NSWMA too much money. This arrangement is not cost-effective.
I offer sincere commendations to Audley Gordon on his new senior government appointment and look forward to the necessary improvements at the NSWMA which are long overdue.