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'We have no choice but to burn it'

Published:Friday | May 15, 2015 | 5:00 AMTamara Bailey

Mandeville, Manchester:

In light of the recent increase in fires, the issue of persons resorting to burning their garbage is causing greater concern.

Several residents from rural Manchester have told The Gleaner that because of poor garbage collection, at times, they are forced to dispose of their garbage by burning.

"I burn the garbage because I can't have it piling up, and while the truck may come every week or every other week, sometimes it takes a while before we see them, Ö and so we burn it," one resident told The Gleaner.

Another resident of the parish, Monique Ricketts of Mike Town, said when the truck doesn't show, she resorts to burning, but takes the necessary precautions.

"I wouldn't want to have to burn my garbage, but there are times when the trucks don't come for months. I am happy when they show up weekly - even twice per week at times - but when they don't show up for a long period of time, I burn it. However, I burn the garbage in small quantities and monitor it carefully."

Regional operations manager of Southern Parks and Market, the local arm of the National Solid Waste Management Authority, Richard Sadhi, said garbage collection across the parish remains standard, except when trucks are down.

"We don't necessarily have a problem during the dry periods to collect garbage. If anything, the rains would be a problem Ö . We still maintain and will maintain pick-up once per week for residential areas, and nightly for commercial/municipal areas. Standard weekly collection is only affected when our trucks are in need of repairs."

Admitting that trucks will not be able to travel to some remote communities, Sadhi is calling on residents to take their garbage to the nearest community skip instead of resorting to burning.