Mon | May 27, 2019

No smelly Christmas for Kingston and St Andrew

Published:Wednesday | December 20, 2017 | 12:00 AMJason Cross
Garbage dumped on the sidewalk on Victoria Avenue, Kingston, forces pedestrians to walk in the road.

Residents of Kingston and St Andrew can look forward to celebrating a clean Christmas, now that remedial repair work to inland roads at the Riverton landfill is complete, says Managing Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority Audley Gordon.

Many Corporate Area communities have been experiencing lengthy delays over many weeks, some for longer periods, in having their garbage collected.

The reasons cited by the authority were poor inland roads and a malfunctioning tractor used to compact rubbish.

Some citizens have even expressed fears that they might have to endure a smelly Christmas and also huge, unsightly piles of garbage.

"The rubbish truck naa come tek up the rubbish dem. Di whole place stink under rubbish," Wildman Street resident in central Kingston, Lavern, told The Gleaner recently.

The Gleaner spoke with Gordon yesterday, and he confirmed that operations at the landfill are now running smoothly.

"The D10 tractor has been working since Friday morning. It is running now and it has helped us tremendously in terms of our compaction rate and our spreading rate. Things are far smoother at the landfill now," he said.

Last week when The Gleaner spoke with Gordon, he highlighted that poor inland roads were not the only problem.

"Right across Kingston and St Andrew, we are having some challenges, but we are still on track to have a very clean Christmas. (Last week Wednesday night into Thursday morning) we left Riverton at 3:30 a.m., because we were fixing the interior road, albeit temporary because we can't do any permanent fix during Christmas when the garbage doubles up. It is not just the road. We had some equipment that wasn't giving the kind of reliability we needed. That equipment is the D9 tractor. It breaks down every so often. It is used to spread the garbage and compact it. During the rains we had to just be putting garbage everywhere, and it created a challenge to navigate."

Redoubling efforts to get situation under control

"That is crucial to our operation because we were not doing that at a fast rate. The truck couldn't even go into the tipping phase in order to dump as quickly as would happen in normal time. It is critical for us to compact and spread the garbage at a fast rate, so there will be areas freed up to keep dumping. We will be redoubling our efforts (this week) to get the garbage situation under control because we have better compacting capabilities," Gordon said.

The Gleaner caught up with garbage trucks workers recently, who complained bitterly about the length of time they had to endure.

"We deh a di dump from after 10 a.m., and now a after three and we just a get fi lef," a garbage truck driver said.