Not a good look!
MYLES... it is only a matter of time beforerodents start fleeing the dumpsite andcause an outbreak at the school (Photo:Daina Davy)
Mounds of garbage bother Westmoreland councillors

SAVANNA-LA-MAR, Westmoreland — Blaming outsiders for the mound of garbage in front of the local high school, councillor for the Little London Division Ian Myles (PNP) is warning that the illegal dump poses a health threat for students and teachers who will soon be back for face-to-face classes in greater numbers.

“School has started at the Little London High School with a small group but all the grades will be back at school on Monday. There have been complaints from everybody. The teachers, parents and the residents have been complaining about the pile of garbage in front of the school. School starts soon and it doesn't look good,” Myles told the Jamaica Observer.

“There is also a risk of this causing health problems. It is only a matter of time before rodents start fleeing the dumpsite and cause an outbreak at the school,” he continued.

Myles is pleading with residents of neighbouring communities and passers-by to properly dispose of their garbage.

“The issue is not the residents of Little London. People pass by from other parts and just throw their garbage there and [at] the dumpsite in the square. This is about persons being patriotic and practising cleanliness. All I'm asking people to do is… to containerise and separate your garbage. Keep your old fridges and other waste until an announcement is made by the NSWMA [National Solid Waste Management Authority],” the councillor pleaded.

When he first raised the issue earlier in the day during the monthly meeting of the Westmoreland Municipal Corporation, Myles noted that the illegal dump had been there for more than three months. He called on the NSWMA to vamp up public educational campaigns surrounding the proper disposal of garbage.

The NSWMA's representative for the meeting, Sereta Barrett, said the agency has already rolled out some initiatives.

“We have started some educational programmes where we are training and educating people on the proper disposal of garbage and we are hoping for success,” she said.

The issue of illegal dumpsites is not unique to the Little London Division. Councillor Danree Delancy (PNP), who represents the Bethel Town Division, told the meeting he has been fighting a similar battle for quite a while.

“There was an illegal dumpsite in Hermitage years ago and with the NSWMA and the Roads and Works Department here at the council, we managed to have it eradicated and put up proper garbage bins. Over time, these have been eroded and destroyed and it is now an illegal dumpsite again,” Delancy said.

The site, he added, is directly in front of a housing development.

“Right across from it is a food place so that could pose health risks. The sites are cleaned regularly but the residents fail to dump in the legal sites. It is not enough to just have up signs because that alone is not going to stop illegal dumping,” Delancy argued.

Weighing in on the issue, mayor of Savanna-la-Mar Bertel Moore said the situation is one that has been going on for a number of months, beginning ahead of last Christmas.

“It is the worst I have seen in the parish for a number of years and I don't know what is the issue,” Moore said, adding that he hopes a solution will be found soon.

BY DAINA DAVY Observer writer

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