Wed | Jan 16, 2019

NSWMA dismisses claims of improper garbage disposal

Published:Saturday | October 14, 2017 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju
A garbage truck makes its way onto the scale where the tonnage of garbage is recorded before going on to the tipping phase where it is offloaded.

Unfounded and untrue is how Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), described reports that heavy-duty equipment operators at the Riverton City disposal site had taken industrial action. He also rubbished claims that garbage had been dumped in the residential section of the community.

"The impression is that everything has broken, and we are at war with the community. I want to say unequivocally, without fear of contradiction, that at no time did we dispose of garbage among the residential dwellings of the people of Riverton City," Gordon told an emergency press conference at the NSWMA's administrative office in Riverton.

"We would not do that. That's not in our character - to insult human dignity. We did not do that," he insisted.


No equipment operator strike


Gordon also addressed allegations that a strike by heavy-duty operators had caused a back-up of garbage trucks. Persistent rains had softened the ground making it very difficult for the trucks laden with garbage to traverse the terrain. Some got stuck in mud and one even got damaged as result.

This prompted a management decision to direct the vehicles to temporary tipping sites much closer to the entrance of the dump in order to minimise the distance they would have to travel. This temporary solution worked until the equipment for the spreading and compacting of the garbage broke down, putting a halt on this critical component of the disposal process.

"We could no longer get the trucks into the tipping phase, and so we had to make decisions about where else to put them, bearing in mind that the main piece of equipment broke down. There is no strike of equipment operators," Gordon declared.

He asked the public to bear with the NSMWA in light of the fact that the impact of the shortage of trucks is being reflected in some communities, which are seeing a delay in collection. However, with 11 new International trucks soon to be added to the fleet, and others undergoing repairs, the agency is working hard to make up for the shortfall.