Sat | Aug 19, 2017

Punish fire offenders - McKenzie says law must act to prevent buring of garbage

Published:Saturday | March 26, 2016 | 3:00 AMJason Cross
Errol Crosby Photo Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government on a tour of the Riverton Landfill in Kingston on Thursday.

Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie has threatened to utilise the full force of the law to ensure that excessive burning of garbage across the Corporate Area comes to a stop.

He said that many residents of communities located in the vicinity of the Riverton landfill in Kingston often assume that whenever they smell smoke, it is coming from a fire at the landfill.

"I have had several calls, but the fact is that the burning is not actually on the site itself. If you look beyond there, you see some burning. That can't be considered to be at Riverton," the minister said while on a tour of the landfill on Thursday.

"We know that there are persons who burn across the Corporate Area. One of the things we're going to be looking at, people have to understand that the law must start to act, and act in a way that punishes those people who continue to disrupt the lives of (others)."

Public education needed

McKenzie said he believed that more persons needed to be sensitised and educated about the effects that actions such as the burning of garbage can have on the environment as well as their fellow citizens' health.

"I have had numerous calls within the last week and a half that there is a fire at the Riverton landfill. When I call, there is no such fire. It is on the outskirts, in other areas, that makes it look as if it is at the landfill," said McKenzie.

"It is one of the matters in the discussions that I've been having with the ministry and the various sub-sectors of the ministry, that public education has to be the way forward. It is a matter that we have to deal with, but also, the public has to play a part in this because a lot of what takes place, they contribute significantly to it and it is something that we are going to have to deal with," McKenzie said.