Sheena Gayle,Gleaner Writer
AT LEAST two councillors in the St James Parish Council are urging the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to cease the commercial collection of garbage.
The position of the councillors came to the fore during last Thursday's regular monthly meeting at the St James Parish Council, where it was revealed that more than 60 domestic collection points in communities across the parish are experiencing serious backlog, creating a public-health hazard.
According to Homer Davis, the councillor for the Cambridge division, the inconsistency by NSWMA in collecting domestic waste is attributed to the fact that the agency is busy throughout the day trying to service the contracts of collecting commercial waste, which, in effect, affects how soon residents have their garbage collected.
"A serious approach is needed to deal with the problems that have plagued the city and its environs for far too long," said Davis. "The NSWMA needs to allow private companies to collect the commercial waste in the city and focus on the domestic waste. I think that will greatly improve the reliability of collections by the authority."
In a report submitted to the parish council for the period July 26 to August 25, the NSWMA admitted that residential solid-waste collection was not done in keeping with the authority's standard, which the agency said was primarily due to downtime/unavailability of both company-owned and supplementary units.
The report further stated that all of the 61 areas had experienced a backlog in the collection of waste and an overflow of receptacles.
LACK OF ENFORCEMENT
Councillor Glendon Harris, chairman of the St James Parish Council and mayor of Montego Bay, concurred with Davis and further added that businesses were dumping garbage in undesignated areas, contributing to the agency's backlog problems.
"The enforcement team is not working at all. We cannot continue like this," Harris stated. "The truth of the situation is what when I travel downtown at various hours of the day, I find that commercial garbage is being deposited at skips that were not designated for those waste."
He added: "As a result, the NSWMA trucks have to be working on the streets around the clock. It is not hard to find the businesses which are dumping the garbage where they are not supposed to."