Mon | Dec 10, 2018

Occupants at Retirement Dump to be relocated

Published:Thursday | September 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
McKenzie

WESTERN BUREAU:

Plans are now afoot for persons living at the Retirement Landfill in St James to be provided with suitable housing on lands approved by the minister of local government.

"The lands have been identified, and we have asked the St James Municipal Corporation to assist in the preparation of some sort of design," said Desmond McKenzie, local government minister, under whose portfolio the nation's landfills, which are managed through the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), fall.

According to McKenzie, the Government has identified Crown lands for the location. However, he did not give the exact location of the land or its size.

"Our next target is to do a small design and then get the people off there [Retirement Dump]. But, you know, we have to be careful also because we don't want to hear that it was 20-odd people, and when we start, you see a whole heap of people run come to say they live on the dump, too," he said.

"That is why we are doing what we are doing to ensure that at the end of the day, we are catering for what is necessary in terms of the persons that we are actually looking to provide for."

In July, thick clouds of smoke, which emanated from a fire at the Retirement Landfill, affected several communities, including Granville, Pitfour, Bogue Village, and Bogue Hill in St James. It also affected residents living in Hopewell and Sandy Bay in neighbouring Hanover.

The smoke nuisance created a lull in commercial activities as there was poor visibility for several business operators in the Fairview and Freeport commercial hub for approximately a week.

At the time of the pollution, Audley Gordon, executive director at the NSWMA, said that the fire was as a result of arsonists and demanded the immediate removal of the persons who have illegally occupied sections of the 30-acre property reserved for landfill use.