Jamaica News: The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) says it has, so far, removed bulky waste from 80 per cent of the 105 major towns across the island targeted under its Pre-Christmas Clean-up drive.
Approximately $60 million is being spent on the project, which commenced on Saturday (November 24).
Speaking with JIS News during the clean-up exercise along Barracks Road in Montego Bay, St. James, on Tuesday (December 4), Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, said the islandwide operation has been progressing well, with tonnes of bulky waste being collected.
“We have moved over 2,000 trips of debris already and we will go straight through this weekend, by which time we should be near 4,000 trips. There are so many [illegal] dumpsites that we are uncovering,” he shared.
Mr. Gordon said he is heartened by the support from residents, stating that they have been pivotal in the execution of the clean-up operations, directing NSWMA teams to areas riddled with bulky waste.
“I want to use this opportunity to thank the residents for their cooperation as they have been giving us the information and helping us to locate these sites and to clean them up,” he said.
He encouraged citizens to play their part to keep their surroundings clean.
“I want to say to the residents, though, that when we clean up areas… it would be a shame if you don’t help us to keep it clean and it returns to what it was… . Remember that Jamaica’s beauty remains our collective duty,” he underscored.
The Pre-Christmas Clean-up drive in St James saw the removal of waste from Fustic Road, Railway Lane, Brandon Hill, Cottage Road, Thompson Street, Princess Street and Hart Street.
The Western Parks and Market (WPM) team cleared the areas of old stoves, washing machines, refrigerators as well as derelict vehicles, which serve as havens for mosquito and rodent infestation.
Silt and other debris were cleared from channels and curbs were thoroughly cleaned.
WPM’s Waste Management Operations Manager, Garnett Edmondson, told JIS News that already, more than 55 loads of non-compactable waste have been removed from communities in St. James under the clean-up programme.
He said that several communities in Hanover and Westmoreland have also been targeted, with plans to revisit those parishes Friday (December 7) through to Sunday (December 9).
“We have put additional units in the system to ensure that we do not have backlogs. We are down to single-digit backlog in the region. The resources that the Government has given to us are really doing a good job at ensuring the cleanest Christmas,” he noted.
Mr. Edmondson told JIS News that the NSWMA will turn its attention to Montego Bay’s town centre on Sunday (December 9), where several streets will be thoroughly scoured and disinfected.
“We will be washing down the town centre. We will be disinfecting (the streets), washing them down… and ensuring that the town centre is very clean for Christmas,” he said.
Source: JIS News