More to be done to fix garbage collection issuesMonday, May 10, 2021
Garbage collection is a national problem that cuts across administrations. Aside from the limited inadequate public funds allocated to garbage collection in the national budget, all Jamaicans must truthfully ask ourselves whether or not our consumption choices and our custodianship over our own waste does contribute to the problem. The nation must take greater responsibility for how it disposes of its waste on a household level.
Notwithstanding, fundamental policy shifts in Government must engender transformational changes in waste disposal and the cleanliness of our environment.
As a Member of Parliament in the Government, I know this Administration has increased the allocation for the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to improve its collection capabilities by procuring 100 new garbage compactor trucks. This capital expenditure would be been almost complete were it not for the novel coronavirus pandemic. There is also a waste-to-energy enterprise team studying the total transformation of waste management in Jamaica. We eagerly await its report and subsequent actions.
Let us not forget that the NSWMA is primarily funded by property taxes. Whenever property tax collection declines financing garbage collection will be challenged, as it is now. Any truthful analysis of the problem or complaint must also look at the other side of the equation — if our taxes are not paid how will the service be provided?
The days of governments simply printing money are, thankfully, long gone. Outside of cutting cost and restructuring to gain efficiency for better service the NSWMA needs a stream of certain revenue.
Having said all of that, I have a duty to respond to complaints. The office of the MP, of course, cannot collect municipal waste; however, as far as possible, I have and will continue to intervene to ensure that cases of negligence, threat to public health, and unfair treatment are addressed by the relevant bodies.
My most important role, however, is as a legislator to put the policies and programmes in place that will grow the economy, create jobs, support business, and create a confident and buoyant economy where Government's revenue can be commensurate to the standard of service desirable for all Jamaicans. The people of Manchester can be assured of this.
Member of Parliament
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