Clarendon councillors blast NSWMA
Inside The MunicipalitiesThursday, October 21, 2021
MAY PEN, Clarendon — The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has been taken to task over its inefficiency in Clarendon, with frustrated councillors grilling the agency's representative as they sought a solution.
During her report at the Clarendon Municipal Corporation's monthly meeting last Thursday, the NSWMA's Opal Samuels explained that the agency has been facing serious challenges in the parish.
“The period under review has been challenging due to the downtime of units and resource constraints, so we were unable to effectively collect in all the areas as scheduled. The placing of biodegradable waste also continues to be a problem when collecting waste from households and we continue to face serious challenges with communal receptacles right across all four zones in the parish,” Samuels told the meeting.
She added that the reduction in work hours, because of budget constrains being experienced by the agency, and inclement weather severely hampered collection of solid waste over the last month.
Samuels said that of the eight units assigned to the parish, only three have not experienced downtime, and malfunctioning equipment has significantly hampered the agency's collection schedule.
That statement elicited scoffs from frustrated councillors who argued that garbage has been piling up in their divisions for a very long time.
“About five to six months now I have reported a mini dump at the entrance to Bog Hole and nothing has been done about it. Garbage collection is poor in the hills and we cannot go to meetings and tell people their tax money is being used to collect garbage and, at present, garbage is just piling up, piling up, piling up,” argued councillor for the Aenon Town Division Delroy Dawson.
Councillor Anthony O'Connor added that garbage is also piling up in Crofts Hill — the division he represents — as well as in neighbouring Kellits.
In responding to a query from Trevor Gordon, councillor for the Spalding Division, as to why so many trucks were down over an extended period, Samuels explained that apart from the three units, all the others have been out of service more times than they were functional.
“I'm not here to say the garbage collection is flowing; it is not. It was bad before and it's worse now. I know that quite a few of you may have seen the report from the Executive Director Audley Gordon, so you know what is happening. We are trying our best but it's not reaching where we would have wanted it to reach,” said Samuels.
She added: “We also have significant challenges with the market areas. We are spending two to three hours because none of the garbage is containerised. The side men have to rake it up, put it on tarpaulins, and throw it in the truck. These are the challenges we are having, so when we leave out of the market, we can't go into any residential area.”
Councillor Uphel Purcell also complained that the York Town Division, which he represents, is suffering from poor garbage collection, even waste that had been properly packaged.
“The truck passing garbage properly containerised and not picking it up on Decoy main road. I have seen this personally. Now the dogs have torn that garbage apart and it's not looking good. I know for sure that the truck passed there several times.
“At the Four Paths Square there are some bags that have not been taken up. We also have some receptacles in some communities and they are in a deplorable condition and no matter how we call about it or speak about it, nothing is being done,” charged Purcell.
In response, Samuels promised to check with the zonal manager responsible for the region to see what could be done about the issue.