THE EDITOR, Sir:
This is in response to your front-page editorial 'NSWMA harms Jamaica' published Tuesday. How patently unfair of you! I have tremendous respect for this paper and it's stellar history, but this piece has an absence of logic. Let us be clear, the situation at Riverton is and has been, for decades, a national disgrace. That we would position the country's largest waste disposal site on what, in any other modern city, would be considered prime real estate, speaks to the short-sightedness that pervades the system.
Jamaica has a storied history of placing people in positions of power, giving them way less resources than they need, and then blaming them when things go wrong. Light research shows that a proper landfill can cost anywhere from US$300,000 to $800,000 per acre to build and $US600,000 to $US1.6 million dollars per year to operate once completed. According to your paper, the Riverton dump is about 120 acres. That would mean several billion dollars a year to maintain after the initial build-out.This is just for the landfill, not the rest of the NSWMA mandate!
Are we providing these dollars to Jennifer Edwards and her team? If not, how can they be blamed for this mess? How does an absence of funds constitute an absence of leadership at the NSWMA and not, rather of successive governments? You admit "funds have to be found" and "the NSWA has to be liberated". Both of those, by your reasoning, have to be accomplished to modernise or restructure. Using that same logic:
a) Until those things are done, no amount of leadership at the NSWMA will further succeed in carrying water in a straw basket and;
b) This cannot be achieved by Edwards or, for that matter, anyone outside of the Cabinet.
If we are to solve our problems, let us at least get the analysis right.