SPM says it's clearing garbage pileup in St ElizabethFriday, July 30, 2021
ST ELIZABETH, Jamaica – Regional operations manager for Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Waste Management, Edward Muir, HAS downplayed persistent complaints of garbage pileups in Santa Cruz and the wider St Elizabeth, saying action was being taken to clear backlogs.
“We cleaned Parottee Saturday and Malvern last week. A truck is in Santa Cruz now. Santa Cruz has to be cleaned every day [at] the market and town centre,” he told OBSERVER ONLINE on Thursday.
When asked about visual evidence of garbage pileup on the outskirts of Santa Cruz in areas such as Park – west of the town – Muir said a supplementary unit has been dispatched to clear garbage.
“We have seven units in total and two are down. One is down in the Santa Cruz area, but we have a supplementary [unit] working in that space for the time being, so we don't have any great backlog in the Santa Cruz area,” he said.
“We don't have any great backlog in St Elizabeth, so I don't know why it is an issue to a point where they have to report to the OBSERVER ONLINE that we have a backlog in that area,” he added.
SPM, which is a subsidiary of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is responsible for solid waste management in Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth.
Councillor for the Santa Cruz division, the Jamaica Labour Party's Christopher Williams told OBSERVER ONLINE earlier this week that he is tired of garbage pile ups resulting from reports that trucks assigned to the Southern Parks and Market (SPM) Waste Management are not functional.
“I have been communicating with [SPM] for a while now about the situation across the division. The situation is unbearable as people are bashing me. The reality is I have made the necessary representation in trying to get the problem of garbage pileup addressed,” he told OBSERVER ONLINE by Whatsapp messaging.
He called for the acquisition of more units to improve garbage collection.
“If it is, we are having a problem with garbage trucks in the parish, the authorities must consider acquiring some new ones for the parish. The reality is I am tired of hearing that trucks are down,” said Williams.
On Thursday, Mayor of Black River and chairman of the St Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Derrick Sangster said he believed the garbage situation was gradually easing after serious challenges caused by broken-down trucks. Sangster confirmed that Parottee was “cleaned” over recent days and that work was being done in Santa Cruz.
“I am satisfied that the authorities are making efforts to deal with backlog and current buildup of garbage,” Sangster said.
Muir told OBSERVER ONLINE that the containerization of garbage in May Pen, Clarendon has improved the situation there and the initiative will be extended to St Elizabeth and Mandeville, Manchester.
“The Bag It initiative in May Pen, we see where persons are adhering to that. Since we launched it [there] we see where people [have been] containerizing their garbage more, so we are pulling out more bags of garbage out of May Pen town now as we speak,” said Muir.
“We intend to bring that next to Junction in St Elizabeth. We are moving into the areas first where we see a lot of littering taking place in the town centres…. As it relates to littering in Manchester, it is not as bad as May Pen and Junction,” he said.
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