Video: Solid waste agency seeking to lease 100 trucks

Thursday, February 21, 2019

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THE National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is in the process of leasing 100 trucks, which the agency hopes will better improve the collection of garbage across the island.

“... Those 100 trucks plus what we have now will give Jamaica a world class service,” NSWMA executive director Audley Gordon told the Jamaica Observer following the handing over of 12 garbage trucks at the Ministry of Local Government on Hagley Park Road in Kingston Tuesday.

Gordon was unable to state how much money would be allocated for the lease.

“The procurement process is underway now so I can't speak to those details; it is a lease arrangement so is not like you are going to pay one time… We hope to conclude that in year 2019/2020 budget cycle, so if we don't come through by the end of the calendar year we certainly expect to have it completed by the end of the financial year,” he explained.

Minister of Local Government Desmond McKenzie while noting that he's concerned about the disposal of garbage said the leasing process is open to persons who are qualified to provide the service.

Noting that the country will have 142 trucks for the purpose of collecting garbage in less than one year, McKenzie said he wants all residents to commit to the proper disposal of waste.

Admitting that there is a lot of room for improvement, the minister said taxpayers have invested a lot of money in the NSWMA. At the same time, he said the agency would continue its public education campaign across the island.

“The truck will pass and spend one hour doing all the cleaning, and five minutes after the truck left [someone would ask the question, 'Did the truck come into this area?'”

Added McKenzie: “Some of the same people, who after the truck gone, deposit their garbage on the road they are the same one calling and criticising to say that their garbage is not collected. We are calling on all well-thinking Jamaicans to join the NSWMA's crusade.”

While the agency seeks to better the collection of garbage, the minister said legislators were expected to conclude their review of the anti-litter legislation which will increase the penalties before resending it to Parliament for it to be tabled.

“One of the things that is required to strengthen the work of the entity is to put in the laws that are required to make the citizens of this country recognise that their role as responsible people is critical in maintaining a clean Jamaica,” he said.

The parishes of Kingston and St Andrew will receive four of the new trucks, while Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth will receive three. St James, Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland will also receive three trucks while the parishes of St Mary, St Ann and Portland will get two.

– Racquel Porter


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