NSWMA head says lack of resources continues to impede efficiency
Timeline for delivery of new garbage trucks uncertain
ROYAL FLAT, Manchester:
Head of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, says there is no timeline for when the 100 new garbage trucks promised by the Government will be procured and added to the island’s fleet.
Gordon said the delay is as a result of the Government’s reallocation of funding to other sectors with a greater demand for resources to fight the ongoing pandemic.
“Our record of resource challenges is well known and it is not unique to the NSWMA. You will hear almost all the agencies of government talk about their resource challenges. We have not grown our economy sufficiently to give the citizens the service they require.”
During a tour of the Royal Flat community on Tuesday, Gordon indicated that a significant number of citizens fail to properly containerise their garbage, and dump illegally.
Business owner Kaydian Gordon complained to NSWMA officials that the scheduled once-per-week garbage collection is inadequate, and more collection days are needed.
“We have a supermarket and it is really bad. People from all over come and empty truckloads of garbage. Even when the bin is full to capacity people keep dumping on it,” she told the NSWMA head.
Among the piles of garbage dumped illegally along the main road in the community was a dead animal, which, along with the frequency with which waste is accumulated, makes it impossible for the authority to maintain the highest service, the NSWMA head said.
As the residents across the parish continue to complain of being underserved, Gordon told The Gleaner earlier this month that the south zone had the biggest backlog.
LOADS OF BACKLOG
“In zone one, which is central Manchester, we only have one load of backlog and we have two units operating there. In zone two, which is south Manchester, we have five loads of backlog with two units there, but it is a very wide geographical space. In zone three, which is north Manchester, we have four loads of backlog with two trucks there,” he outlined.
The standard schedule provides for each area to have collection once per week. However, with more than 50 per cent of the fleet consisting of aged, inefficient trucks, Gordon said it is difficult to adhere to schedules.
“We are not in a quarrel with the people, we are saying we are at the wicket and we are playing each ball on merit. Each day we look at the resources we have and we deploy it strategically to ensure that we do the best job possible.
“…One of the problems that we are having is that people don’t invest in protection of their garbage. They are giving an impression that they are not responsible for their garbage. I dispel that myth because we are in fact responsible for the solid waste that we generate,” Gordon explained.
Operations director at the NSWMA, Aretha McFarlene, confirmed that a donation of 200 drums was made by Hardware and Lumber and will be distributed in June.
She said other corporate companies are expected to also donate to the cause of waste management.