Stakeholders want Mandeville back to cleanest town status
Solid waste being cleared from an illegal dump on Patrick Road in Mandeville on Thursday. (Photo: Kasey Williams)

MANDEVILLE, Manchester — This south-central town once had the reputation of being among the cleanest in Jamaica.

Leading citizens of Mandeville including a politician, residents and a representative of the area’s solid waste management are calling on individuals to stop the illegal dumping of garbage in Mandeville and its environs.

Chairmain Stephenson, who is aspiring to represent the Jamaica Labour Party in the Mandeville Division, said an illegal dump on the outskirts of the town centre has been an eyesore for months.

Stephenson, who is the granddaughter of Mandeville’s late former Mayor Cecil Charlton — under whose watch the town was recognised as being the cleanest town decades ago, said she is deeply concerned.

“There have been many reports of dumping here in Mandeville, Patrick Road in particular. Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) and I have been talking and there are business persons, residents who have been coming out and complaining,” she said during a clean-up exercise on Patrick Road on Thursday.

SPM is responsible for solid waste management in Clarendon, Manchester and St Elizabeth.

“This is a main area where people if they want to [bypass] all the traffic, this is one of the roads that they actually travel on,” she said.

She said citizens have expressed their disgust of the uncleanliness in Mandeville.

“They are very disgruntled, because back in the days my grandfather, he would ensure that the area was kept clean no matter what,” she said.

She added that to allocate funding for the removal of solid waste from illegal dumpsites is costly.

“It is not cheap, so the money that could be going to other things has to be [spent here] to clean up the area,” she said.

“I would like to implore people who are dumping, this is not a dumpsite. This is not an area for you to dump and throw your rubbish. There are beds out there, diapers, all kinds of debris,” she added.

She said people who litter need to develop a sense of pride to desist from the practice.

“Persons need to be conscious of the fact that there are people who live here, you have rats and rodents that are now coming out and going into people’s yards, because of the nastiness,” she said.

She warned that litterbugs caught in the act of illegal dumping will be charged for breaches of the National Solid Waste Management Act.

“People who have been dumping just know that others have been charged and you might just be the next person, who might have to pay the penalty,” she said.

She added that the Government is moving to alleviate the shortage of garbage trucks across the country.

“We understand that there is a problem with dump trucks and stuff like that, but it is being worked on,” she said.

“We find that people like to blame the Government or SPM when it comes to garbage, but you need to take care and know that you have to have a certain sense of pride. Ensure that your garbage is bagged properly, if you want you can put your recyclables in different [receptacles]… You can put your perishable food items in your garden,” she added.

SPM Regional Manager Edward Muir said the agency is now focused on removing solid from illegal dumps.

“Right now we are cleaning some mini-dumps right across the region. We cleaned a major dumping site in St Elizabeth at Fullerswood. We are doing Patrick Road in Mandeville. Then we will be moving to Knockpatrick to have the area cleaned,” he said.

“We know the mini-dumps are sometimes as a result of late collection and also we have people who disregard public safety and dump garbage on the road. However, we are on a drive to clean most of these mini dumps as best as possible,” he added.

Patrick Road resident Clayton Allen is hoping that people who desist from dumping garbage in his community as he commended the authorities for cleaning the area.

“Citizens are happy with that, hoping that we can have some form of fencing to stop people from coming to dump here again, because it has been cleared already and [litterbugs] came and filled it up again,” he said.

“We are getting rid of some of the stray dogs and rats and we are getting rid of the garbage most importantly,” he added.

Dr Peter Wellington, who has lived in Mandeville for close to four decades, wants the town to return to being a place of cleanliness.

“The place was filthy, nasty, it was an affront to humanity what people were doing here… It has been going on for years, but sometimes it gets worse. I would beg them to try and keep their community clean. This used to be the capital of cleanliness. It has now become a dump house, so we have to change our attitude and stop with them foolishness here,” he said.

Chairmain Stephenson who is aspiring to represent the Jamaica Labour Party in the Mandeville Division (Photo: Kasey Williams)
SPM Regional Manager Edward Muir (Photo: Kasey Williams)
Solid waste being cleared from an illegal dump on Patrick Road in Mandeville on Thursday. (Photo: Kasey Williams)
Garbage at an illegal dumpsite on Patrick Road in Mandeville (Photo: Kasey Williams)
Patrick Road resident Clayton Allen (Photo: Kasey Williams)
Mandeville citizen Dr Peter Wellington. (Photo: Kasey Williams)
Kasey Williams

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