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NSWMA gets six new additions to fleet - Emphasis on resort and rural towns

Published:Tuesday | April 4, 2017 | 12:00 AM
Desmond McKenzie

More than J$120 million has been spent to outfit three of the four regional offices of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) with six new Renault Garbage Compactors to further assist with the collection and transportation of solid waste.

The new additions represent the first batch of an overall fleet of 28 expected to be in operation by end of September and carry a collective price tag of more than J$500 million.

Speaking at the official handover ceremony yesterday at the NSWMA head office along Half-Way Tree Road, Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie stated that the trucks would not be adequate but would better position the NSWMA to respond to the needs of the country.

He said: "I'm pleased that the executive director and the team have decided to send these trucks into the rural parts of the country which seem over the last few years to develop a habit of generating more garbage than the Corporate Area and this is cause for concern."


Property tax boost


McKenzie added that the increased property tax measures would see the effects of uncollected garbage minimised and would also enable the Government to purpose more garbage collection units in the near future.

Speaking with The Gleaner, executive director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, said that while the agency was not able to structure an islandwide garbage collection schedule, emphasis has to be placed on ensuring that resort towns are kept garbage free.

"We have to improve on our service in places such as Ocho Rios and Negril. The critics will say we only care about tourists but we have to protect our foreign exchange, as tourism is our mainstay, and so we have to be conscious of the product we offer."

He added: "Our ambition is to get the agency to a state where we have enough trucks so efficiently managed, we can pick up twice per week in every section of Jamaica as the safety standards require."

The NSWMA has assigned two units each to the three regions.

Southern Parks and Markets (Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth), Western Parks and Markets (Westmoreland, Hanover, St James and Trelawny) and North Eastern Parks and Markets (Portland, St Mary and St Ann) are the regions to benefit.