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Mckenzie reacts to NSWMA cut

Published:Wednesday | May 16, 2012 | 5:47 PM

Edmond Campbell, Senior Staff Reporter

Opposition spokesman on local government, Desmond McKenzie says a cut in the budget of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will seriously retard the agency ability to effectively carry out its mandate.

According to McKenzie, the NSWMA had fallen down badly even before the new administration took office late last year.

He complained that there has been a steady decline in the collection of household garbage in the last few months.

His comments came this morning at a meeting of Parliament’s Standing Financing Committee now reviewing the Estimates of Expenditure for the period 2012/2013.

The opposition spokesman said the failure to collect the garbage on a timely basis had contributed to an increase in the rodent population.

McKenzie said he noted with concern the meager $10 million provided to carry out remedial work at the Riverton landfill in St. Andrew.

Earlier this year, a massive fire at the landfill blanketed the Corporate Area and sections of Portmore in St. Catherine causing businesses and schools to be closed.

Many residents reported that they had to visit the doctor to be treated as a result of the noxious smoke which affected them.

State Minister for Local Government, Colin Fagan, said the NSWMA was seeking to increase its income by embarking on the collection of commercial garbage.

On the question of rodent eradication, Fagan said a multi agency committee has been established to deal with the problem.