Sat | Sep 23, 2017

New trucks to improve garbage collection

Published:Wednesday | May 10, 2017 | 5:00 AMPaul Clarke
Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government and community development, inspects the new garbage trucks, while Dennis Chung (right), chairman of National Solid Waste Management Authority, and others look on after the handover ceremony at the company’s head office in St Andrew yesterday.

Three brand new Renault-manufactured garbage trucks valued at approximately $61 million were commissioned into service yesterday by Local Government and Community Development Minister Desmond McKenzie, which should ease the perennial issues of infrequent collection in some communities.

With the welcome additions, McKenzie told The Gleaner that communities that would be served by the extra trucks should expect an improved rotation in the picking up of garbage.

"The timely and effective service we strive for through the NSWMA (National Solid Waste Management Authority) is in high gear. Communities will benefit from a more timely delivery of service because of these additions," he stated.

"While we continue to stress the importance of the proper disposal of garbage, and even with the addition of these three brand new trucks, we must not forget that there are mechanisms in many communities that target the proper disposal of solid waste."

There are 18 communities across the country currently involved under the inner-city garbage disposal programme, a collaborative initiative with the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).

30 TRUCKS IN TOTAL

Several garbage skips are being made available for communities under the programme in tandem with an educational component that seeks to inform residents how to properly separate garbage for disposal.

"Based on the facts that we are well advanced in regard to the new anti-litter fines, we feel that when that comes into force, we will see a new layer of acceptance from many persons across the country," McKenzie said.

Southern Parks and Markets Waste Management Limited, North East Parks and Markets Waste Management Limited and the Metropolitan Parks and Markets Waste Management Limited will each receive one unit each to assist with the collection and transportation of solid waste.

The three represent nine units received since the start of the year out of the 28 that was pledged by the NSWMA.

"We have abided by all the stipulations that are laid out as to how the procurement is done, and because of that and because we have worked overtime, we are running ahead of the projected time for the receiving and the delivery of the trucks," he said. "It is a commitment that we made and is a commitment we're obligated to keep."

Thirty trucks are to be added to the system from the Government, with McKenzie stating that his ministry was now in the process of sourcing funds to ensure the purchase of the remaining 17.

paul.clarke@gleanerjm.com