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Gov't working to relocate persons living at St James landfill

Published:Tuesday | October 16, 2018 | 4:36 PM
Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, tries out the controls of one of the three new garbage trucks acquired for the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA). The occasion was the handing over ceremony at the NSWMA’s head office in Kingston on October 16, 2018. Looking on is Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon - Contributed photo

Minister of Local Government and Community Development Desmond McKenzie has indicated that the Government is working to relocate persons residing at the Retirement Landfill in St James.

McKenzie informed that the Social Development Commission will be undertaking a census to determine the number of persons living at the site.

“This census will help us to determine the relocation of those persons. We have to ensure that once we remove them, we find somewhere to put them. We have already located an area, but we have to do the proper assessment to determine how we go about (it),” he said.

McKenzie was speaking at the handing over of three new garbage trucks valued at approximately $74.7 million to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) at the agency's head office in St Andrew today.

The units, valued at $24.9 million each, will serve the Metropolitan Parks and Markets region, comprising St Catherine, Clarendon, Kingston and St Andrew, and St Thomas; the Western Parks and Markets – Westmoreland, Hanover, St James, and Trelawny; and the North Eastern Parks and Markets, comprising St Ann, St Mary and Portland.

Each region will receive one unit to strengthen the collection and transportation of solid waste.

McKenzie said the Government is committed to boosting the fleet of trucks in order to ensure that the agency delivers quality service.

He said that since 2016, the NSWMA has received 30 new vehicles.

“By the end of this year into January 2019… an additional 12 trucks will complement the fleet, and by year end (2019), we are looking at close to 50 brand new trucks for the NSWMA,” he indicated.

He noted that while garbage collection has improved “we are still not where we want to be in terms of the volume and the frequency of collection” and that the additional trucks will strengthen efforts in this regard.

He urged workers to take care of the units, which will assist them in performing their duties effectively.

Executive Director of the NSWMA Audley Gordon welcomed the additional trucks which, he said, will assist in the authority’s mandate to safeguard public health.

Gordon encouraged Jamaicans to practise proper garbage disposal.

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