Member of Parliament for St Andrew Western, the People’s National Party’s (PNP) Anthony Hylton says he has started preparations ahead of a meeting in September with Prime Minister Andrew Holness regarding the pending closure of the Riverton City dump.
The dump is located in Hylton’s constituency.
In announcing in the Parliament on August 5 that the problem-plagued Riverton facility and other dump sites would be closed, Holness said he was cognisant that many people relied on the dumps for their livelihood and, as such, discussions would be held.
Hylton told Loop News that he’ll be taking a team to meet with Holness. He said he held a recent meeting with residents to discuss the pending removal of the dump.
“We discussed the matter, and one of the things we agreed on was that I want a small committee from the community to come with me to meet with the prime minister. I’m not going there by myself,” Hylton said.
Anthony Hylton, MP for St Andrew Western
Among those expected to accompany the MP are the former Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority Joan Gordon Webley, who switched allegiance from the Jamaica Labour Party to the PNP, a youth representative, and Councillor for the Seaview Gardens Division, Hazel Anderson.
Hylton said Gordon Webley has a wealth of information about the dump based on her previous association with the NSWMA.
He said he has been meeting with her ahead of the meeting with the prime minister to get from her some of the things that could be implemented in the community, both pre and post-closure.
The MP still feels some dump-related activity like composting could take place.
While Hylton suggested that if he had his way he would keep the dump open, he was quick to point out that the health of residents is his priority.
“I don’t start from a position of closing the dump. What I was pushing for is that I was the first calling for a waste-to-energy plant down there, from my (PNP) administration, and we started the process to discuss how we could organise the thing in a way that a waste-to-energy site could be developed. We went to market looking for a waste-to-energy situation,” he said.
“So I don’t start from a position that we have to close it down. I believe they want to close it down because of the value of the land and the nearby Caymanas Economic Zone, which is part of the logistics hub that I initiated [in the PNP Government],” Hylton added.
He said he was aware of plans to make Riverton City and Seaview Gardens part of Portmore but said that did not find favour with residents.