Sun | Jan 20, 2019

Hannah Town residents breathe sigh of relief

Published:Saturday | January 5, 2019 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju/Gleaner Writer
National Solid Waste Management Authority contractors remove garbage that covered a section of Drummond Street in Hannah Town in Kingston on Thursday.
National Solid Waste Management Authority contractors remove garbage that covered a section of Drummond Street in Hannah Town in Kingston on Thursday.
The garbage pile-up on the side of a road in Hannah Town, Kingston, on Wednesday.
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Residents of Hannah Town are today breathing much easier following Thursday's clean-up of a massive garbage pile-up along Blount Street by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), which engaged the services of two private tipper trucks and a tractor operator to supplement its two in-house trucks in undertaking the marathon clean-up.

However, contrary to the views of Melody Henry and other residents who were plagued by flies, assailed by a nauseating stench and an ever-growing eyesore, this was a scheduled operation and not the result of any embarrassment caused by a Gleaner article highlighting the issue on Thursday.

"Place look nice, proper. Only thing now we want is a shower a rain fi tek weh the bad odour, but everything good now. We can't stop say thanks to The Gleaner Company because all now, we would inna stress," she told The Gleaner.

However, according to Michael Donegal, a supervisor with the NSWMA, the newspaper report was not responsible for action being taken.

In Thursday's Gleaner article, NSWMA Executive Director Audley Gordon said that the area was on track for a scheduled garbage collection.

"I didn't even know there was a story. No man, no. I want to tell you what happened why we didn't come even before Mr Gordon got wind of it. The tractor broke down, and I want to tell you that the tractor broke down right after we finished here," Donegal said, while noting that the clean-up would have continued in a nearby section of the community on Friday.

Try telling that to Henry and her neighbours.

"Dem did a go come? Lie! Every day we hear 'tomorrow', so nuh mek dem trick you. The place look nice, and di people dem throw inna di skip. So dem (NSWMA) fi just keep coming like two times a week - like day after tomorrow again - fi mek the place stay inna order because a nuff people live a west, you know. Thank you again," she gushed.

However, Donegal went on to explain that a bad situation was made worse when someone dumped rubble directly in front of the skip, under cover of night, some time before Christmas. This blocked the path of the regular compactor garbage truck, which was unable to back up to the skip. In addition, the discarded construction material could not be loaded on to the vehicle since it would damage the on board crumpling mechanism.

This necessitated the rental of a tractor to remove the rubble, a procedure that took some time as a result of the paperwork involved in the procurement process.

During this time, householders refused to climb up on or go around the temporary obstacle course, opting instead to dump their garbage in front of the skip. The garbage strewn all over the roadway attracted a swarm of flies, unlike anything the area had encountered before, the magnitude of which caught Donegal off guard.

"The flies are horrible. When I go there the other day and park in my car, you thought that it was persons throwing pebbles on the glass. It was the flies going bup, bup, bup."

christopher.serju@gleanerjm.com