NSWMA seeks at least 50 more garbage trucksTuesday, September 14, 2021
KINGSTON, Jamaica — The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is banking on some relief in terms of an increase in the number of garbage trucks it operates in the new supplementary budget.
In fact, the Authority is hoping that with a supplementary budget promised for this month by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, it will benefit to the tune of some more trucks.
NSWMA Executive Director, Audley Gordon, says that the Authority needs about 100 more trucks to operate efficiently. However, he said that they would welcome 50 trucks, which could significantly improve the service immediately.
According to Gordon, whilst the government had approved the importation of the trucks, and it was announced by Minister of Finance and the Public Service, Dr Nigel Clarke, in his 2019 budget speech, COVID-19 intervened.
“Two years ago the Minister of Finance in his budget presentation in Parliament announced, to our delight, the approval for 100 new trucks for the NSWMA. But, COVID hit last year and, understandably, that was deferred. But, what wasn't deferred was the need for the 100 trucks,” Gordon told a press briefing at the authority's head office, Half-Way-Tree Road in Kingston on Friday.
He said that the NSWMA's hopes were raised recently when Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie, requested a costing for 50 more trucks this year. However, he noted that the 50 trucks could cost the country “billions of dollars”.
“I don't know what will be the outcome of that request, but I do believe that something is in the making. We don't know for sure, but we are hoping,” NSWMA board chairman, Dennis Chung, informed the briefing, adding that the lack of reliable trucks has been one of the biggest challenge facing the entity.
Gordon admitted that the public deserves far better service than the NSWMA has been delivering over the years. He said that he accepted that there is a need to remove garbage in a more “timely manner”. However, he sought to assure the public that it is not the fault of the authority that it is unable to deliver the service “professionally and administratively”.
“Nonetheless we were doubling our efforts to meet the challenge. Now we have been working three shifts some days. This is causing further deterioration of the trucks, but we are still at the wicket and I can assure you that we are doing our best,” he said.
He added that for the authority to overcome the current challenges it is facing, will also need the cooperation of the public.
“We are asking the public to properly containerise your garbage, until we come for it. We will come for it. We have been coming. But, you have to play your part. Properly containerise your garbage. See how best you can manage the containerization, so that when we come to clear it, we can just take it up and move on,” he urged.
The NSWMA handles solid waste collection and disposal across all 14 parishes, but Gordon says that the most troublesome area, in terms of cooperation, is that covered by the regional office Metropolitan Parks and Markets (MPM) which covers Kingston, St Andrew, St Catherine and St Thomas.
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