Fri | Aug 18, 2017

NSWMA dismisses accusation of unfair competition

Published:Friday | June 16, 2017 | 6:06 PM

The National Solid Waste management Authority (NSWMA) has brushed aside an accusation that its collection of commercial garbage represents unfair competition for private waste-disposal companies.

The NSWMA was responding to a letter in The Gleaner today in which Managing Director of Minott Services Limited, David Minott, said private garbage companies have been lobbying against the NSWMA’s activities in the market for years.

He argued that the government agency does not pay dump fees, while private waste companies have to.

He added that the NSWMA’s trucks are paid for by the taxpayers, while private waste-disposal companies have to borrow from the banks.

However, in a release to the media, the Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, says the agency was forced to enter the market because of the shortcomings of the private companies.

He notes that the NSWMA’s primary focus is the collection of residential waste and it does not actively solicit commercial contracts.

He says this focus customarily created an opportunity for private contractors.

However, Gordon says it has been observed that a significant number of commercial entities are still being underserved throughout the island, and major town centres are suffering as a result of this gap.

He says public outcry of garbage pile up in places like Port Antonio in Portland and Santa Cruz, St Elizabeth, has forced the NSWMA to undertake the collection of commercial waste to safeguard public health.

Turning to the issue of the dump fees collected from private contractors, Gordon argues that it’s the NSWMA which bears the cost of operating landfills and tipping fees can only be removed if private contractors are willing to share in this cost.