CHRISTIANA, Manchester — Some residents here and in surrounding areas are calling for the removal, or relocation, of communal garbage skips to reduce the likelihood of them overflowing and being an eyesore at the entrance of their communities.
The communal garbage skips, located along the main road leading to the Manchester north-eastern town of Christiana, have become points of garbage disposal for people travelling from as far away as Trelawny and St Ann.
“I want them to move it from there. If it was just people from the community using it, it would be alright. You have people from Trelawny, Spalding, St Ann [and] all over, carry garbage come throw here,” a resident of Chudleigh, who asked not to be named, told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.
An upset resident of Brockery, who also asked not to be named, said litter laws need to be enforced to deal with people who dump garbage around the skips.
“Put down we foot. That means as you see a man drop a paper you prosecute him, if him can’t pay the money you give him six months in prison. They put in litter law, but it not being enforced,” said the resident.
His neighbours are also concerned that the communal skips are breeding sites for rodents and attract stray dogs.
“Rat infestation is one of the major things and then we have an insane person who helps to dismantle the garbage when it’s there. People come from all parts come throw garbage in the skip. You have people with supermarkets who dispose of rotten stuff here. If people have a dead dog this is where they come with it,” one resident charged.
“People leaving from all over come to throw in it. It hurts the business people in the community too, because of the stench,” added the resident.
In the meantime acting regional manager for Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Sheldon Smith, while admitting that there are challenges in the timely removal of solid waste from some areas, agreed that the communal skips are problematic.
“The garbage tripled during the festive season and that created a backlog on our side, but the communal bins. Those collection points that they put along the roadway. They have exacerbated the problem strongly, because if people were keeping them at their gate in a drum we would reach them much better. We would be going into the communities,” said Smith.
SPM, which is a subsidiary of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), is responsible for garbage collection in Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth.
Smith said although the skips are cleaned twice daily at times, it is refilled within a short space of time.
“…We are going along the highway to be cleaning these things sometimes twice for the day. If we are moving forward and we say we want to move into a developed country and so on, it doesn’t help. That causes more problems than anything else,” added Smith.