Portmore councillors scold NSWMA, resolve to take over garbage collection
Ruddy Mathison, Gleaner Writer
Councillors attending the general meeting of the Portmore Municipal Corporation last night passed a motion for the entity to take back the responsibility for solid waste collection in the sunshine city from the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
The motion was unanimously passed after the NSWMA management was scolded for being deceptive and ineffective.
The councillors were responding to the monthly report from NSWMA attributing the recent garbage pile-up in sections of the municipality to inadequate solid waste disposal trucks.
"The level of garbage pile-up in my division is evidence that the NSWMA is not doing its job effectively," said Yvonne McCormack, the councillor for Greater Portmore.
"They are deceiving the loyal taxpayers of this Municipality when they allow the garbage to pile up and only move to do collections on the eve of a council meeting," she protested, claiming that it is a common practice of the NSWMA.
"I am tired of this barefaced deception and something should be done about this situation. The people are dissatisfied and I am mad."
Councillor for the Waterford Division Fenley Douglas supported McCormack.
He also warned the NSWMA that residents in his division are not far from "taking matters in their own hands".
"There is evidence that contractors are not being paid and this is compounding the problem," he said.
Douglas then asked Mayor Leon Thomas for the responsibility for collecting garbage in Portmore to be returned to the municipal corporation.
"We cannot allow NSWMA to continue ripping off the taxpayers of this Municipality," Douglas charged.
Thomas, who supported the motion, had a stern rebuke for Jamaica Labour Party Councillor Courtney Edwards who seemed to have been supporting the garbage collection entity before agreeing belatedly that the situation could be improved in the Independent City Division, which he represents.
"How could you stand and support this non-functioning entity, when you look at the amount of money the people are paying for property tax?" Thomas asked Douglas.
The mayor also cited public comments made some time ago by former Caribbean Estates resident Juliet Cuthbert-Flynn that she was prepared to empty her garbage on the steps of the municipal corporation if collection did not improve.
Cuthbert-Flynn is now the St Andrew West Rural Member of Parliament.
The motion was then unanimously accepted for the responsibility for garbage collection in Portmore to be returned to the municipal corporation.