Minister Announces Work To Be Done At Retirement Disposal Site In St. James

Jamaica News: Local Government and Community Development Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, says the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be placed in a better position to respond to any possible outbreak of fire at the Retirement Disposal Site in Granville, St. James.

The last fire broke out at the disposal site on May 18, with smoke affecting sections of the parish as well as neighbouring Hanover.

Speaking at a ceremony to announce redevelopment work at the Retirement Disposal site on September 13, the Minister said repairs to 1,500 metres of roadway leading to the disposal site will be done; they will create a designated cell to house tyres; and there will be the installation of drainage pipes to facilitate the movement of water around the facility.

“Tyres will be treated in a special way because we know the danger that the tyres pose when a fire is on the landfill,” he said.

“The fire brigade is here and the National Water Commission is here and a part of this new dispensation is the installation of three new fire hydrants at separate points across the landfill to assist in case there is a fire,” the Minister added.

Another critical measure announced by the Minister is the installation of a 28,000-gallon water tank equipped with an intake valve to release water “to wet and douse the areas.”

A new dumper truck purchased from the NSWMA’s own revenue was also handed over. The Minister said the truck will be based at the disposal site and will help to spread covering material that is necessary to prevent fires on a daily basis.

A trained response team will be based at the site to check the facility on a daily basis to ensure that fire response mechanisms are put in place when necessary.

“We are not only putting in the systems, the response team will have an all terrain vehicle. They will have a closed user group (CUG) telephone system… to ensure that you are in a position to report what is taking place,” Mr. McKenzie said.

Two way radios will also be provided to staff as well as fire extinguishers and dry chemicals.

Meanwhile, the Minister disclosed that to further minimise the impact of fire, over 100 truckloads of top soil will be provided to cover inactive garbage cells at the dump.

“The areas will not be left exposed any longer. So, once they are finished with an area they cover it and they move on to a different area. There will be no open sites on the facility. The only sites that will be open is the one that is being actively used on a daily basis,” he noted.

Source: JIS News

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