RESIDENTS OF communities across the island which have seen a pile-up of garbage due to the passage of Hurricane Sandy three weeks ago are being told that their refuse will be removed by the end of the week.
Jennifer Edwards, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), told The Gleaner yesterday that the agency has been encountering several challenges in its bid to rid communities of debris associated with Sandy.
The NSWMA head cited the repeat clean-up of garbage as one of the biggest challenges while adding that on numerous occasions workmen have had to visit the same site twice. On top of that, she said her team is working with a bulky workload which has been putting pressure on the company's resources.
"On Perkins Boulevard, for example, we did about 15 trips just to clear one empty space and I drove through there yesterday and people have again begun to put out (garbage) in that empty area," Edwards said.
She said that for the Corporate Area, it was mostly communities in the northern sections that have not seen a complete clean-up of debris.
"There are some areas up by Graham Heights, Russell Heights, Lysham that we have not gone into. In the lower side of St Andrew, it is Washington Gardens, Waterhouse and some other areas that we have not gone into."
St Ann, St Mary clean-up
Additionally, the executive director said that with the recent flooding in St Ann and St Mary, NSWMA teams have had to conduct clean-up operations twice in those parishes.
Two legislators, Derrick Smith and Robert Montague last week raised concerns in the Parliament about the pace at which the clean-up was taking place.
Edwards, while acknowledging that people expect the NSWMA to move with greater speed, said the practice of burning garbage has been slowing down clean-up operations.
"We have had to leave waste in some areas because of the fire in it. We cannot take the fire to the disposal site, once it has been lit we have to be very sure that it is completely out before we can collect it," Edwards said.
The NSWMA head said the agency has been collecting domestic waste. "We have asked citizens not to mix the domestic waste with the hurricane waste so the hurricane waste should not create a health risk," she said.