St James residents turning to burning, illegal dumping of garbage Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

As the National Solid Wasted Management Authority’s (NSWMA) Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited faces challenges relative to garbage collection, residents of St James have turned to burning or illegally dumping their garbage in rivers and drains.

The disclosure was made by Public Cleansing Manager at WPM, Mark Jones, during the monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation (STJMC) on Thursday.

Jones told councillors that there are not enough garbage trucks to collect waste from the 334 districts in the parish.

“For the month of September, the WPM Waste Management continued to experience backlog within a number of districts,” he outlined.

“The WPM notes that when the waste collection is inconsistent, people choose to burn or dump their waste in nearby drains or rivers.

“The main reason for this is owing to the resource constraints that the company has been facing. Both the Government and supplementary (garbage collection) units are not sufficient to clean the 334 districts in the parish,” Jones stated.

Like St James, several other parishes have been plagued by inadequate garbage collection, resulting in solid waste being littered across various communities and town centres.

Two Thursdays ago, Local Government and Rural Development Minister, Desmond McKenzie, urged citizens to be patient, as the Government had acquired 50 new garbage trucks which are on the way to the island.

Jones told the STJMC that despite the resource constraints, “efforts are continuously being made to have the waste removed in a timely manner.”

Among the efforts by the WPM Waste Management Limited are the use of “six Government units and five supplementary units,” which “worked in the parish on average during the period.

“Additionally, the team swept the town centres, village squares and main roads,” said Jones.

However, he noted that there were other challenges that continued to exist, affecting the increase in the amount of waste in the parish.

Frequent downtime of both supplementary and Government-owned units were among the factors contributing to the amount of uncollected waste in the parish, Jones indicated.

In addition, “both residential and commercial customers use improper disposal practices, such as refusing to bag their waste and creation of illegal dump sites,” he reported.

“During the month of August, there were 42 communities in backlog (relative to garbage collection).

“September saw an increase, with 76 backlog communities,” stated Jones.