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NSWMA: $5 billion needed to address garbage collection issues

Published:Monday | September 29, 2014 | 12:35 PM

The government agency responsible for waste disposal in Jamaica says it urgently needs $5 billion to properly address the problem of uncollected garbage now plaguing many areas across the country.



Over the last two months, businesses, individuals and politicians have been pressuring the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to improve its service after garbage began to pile up across the country.



Jennifer Edwards, executive director of the, NSWMA, admitted on Independent Talk on Power 106 FM this morning that the agency is facing a crisis as it relates to fixing the problem.



She says that the crisis, highlights the problems of inefficient machines and resource shortage affecting the agency.



According to her, optimally, 274 trucks are needed to service the 14 parishes.



However, the NSWMA says it owns 55 trucks, most of which are not working, while another 50 are hired.



Edwards argues that the NSWMA is further impaired by the frequent malfunctioning of compactors which are used to compress waste at landfills.



She says the NSWMA has made a submission to the Government on the needs of the agency.



And she says by the end of October, the Government is to make a decision on a request by the NSWMA to seek private help to alleviate the problems.



Meanwhile, the head of the NSWMA is seeking to clarify concerns over what she called the crisis in garbage collection.



She says many of the bags of garbage seen outside homes in recent times are not domestic waste but cut grass.



Edwards also says the uncollected garbage will not necessarily provide breeding sites for the mosquito that spreads the chikungunya virus.



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