Fri | Dec 4, 2020

Church Corner dump in St Thomas to be relocated

Published:Friday | March 6, 2020 | 9:04 AM
Local Government and Community Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie (centre, front row), addressing the Standing Finance Committee of the House of Representatives on March 3, 2020. With him are representatives of the Ministry as well as departments and agencies under his portfolio- Contributed photo

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, says land has been identified to relocate the Church Corner dump in St Thomas, while an alternative location is being sought for the Doctors Road disposal site in Portland.

He was speaking at Tuesday’s meeting of the Standing Finance Committee of the House, which is reviewing the 2020/21 Estimates of Expenditure.

The disposal sites are being relocated in light of stakeholder concerns over the potential environmental and health hazards both facilities pose at the present locations.

The Church Corner dump is within proximity to the Morant Bay roundabout and Bustamante Bridge, while the Doctors Road site is located relatively close to prime resort property in Portland. 

McKenzie said the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has paid a deposit on the land to which the Church Corner dump will be relocated, adding that negotiations to conclude the purchase are “well advanced”.

He indicated that the NSWMA has adhered to all protocols relevant to the establishment of the alternative landfill, and assured that the requisite due diligence was undertaken in the process of identifying the location, while adding that stakeholder consultations were facilitated.

“The entity has been working with the authorities, especially the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), in respect of the permit. So I [anticipate that] by the end of this  calendar year, going into early next year, we [will see] the closure of the Church Corner facility, if all goes well,” the Minister said.

Meanwhile, McKenzie said $29 million will be allocated from the Ministry’s Parochial Revenue Fund, which supports the NSWMA’s work, to transport some 400 truckloads of solid waste from Church Corner to the Riverton City disposal site in Kingston.

He indicated that the undertaking “will commence shortly” and last between six and eight months, adding that the funds will cover the cost for acquiring heavy-duty equipment, loading, and trucking the garbage.

Regarding the Doctors Road disposal site, McKenzie cited challenges identifying a suitable alternative location within Portland.  

He advised, however, that discussions are being held with the owners of the property on which the landfill is encroaching, adding that “we still are exploring finding alternative locations”.

“I have asked the NSWMA to work out a programme to see how best we can possibly deal with the issue surrounding Doctors Road landfill,” McKenzie further informed.

- JIS News 

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