Over $69 Million in Upgrading Works Undertaken at Riverton Disposal Site

Photo: Donald Delahaye Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, demonstrates the capacity of the water storage and pumping system installed at the Riverton City disposal site during a tour of the facility on Thursday, December 17.

Story Highlights

  • A 128,000-gallon water storage tank, which has been commissioned into service at the Riverton City disposal site as a fire suppression system, has significantly improved the National Solid Waste Management Authority’s (NSWMA) ability to mitigate fire hazards at the facility.
  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, made the disclosure at a press conference at his Hagley Park Road offices December 17, ahead of a tour of the disposal site.
  • The system includes a water collection and distribution pump to dispense water to hydrants placed at strategic locations around the site.

A 128,000-gallon water storage tank, which has been commissioned into service at the Riverton City disposal site as a fire suppression system, has significantly improved the National Solid Waste Management Authority’s (NSWMA) ability to mitigate fire hazards at the facility.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, made the disclosure at a press conference at his Hagley Park Road offices December 17, ahead of a tour of the disposal site.

The system includes a water collection and distribution pump to dispense water to hydrants placed at strategic locations around the site.

It is one of several improvement and upgrading works undertaken at the facility at a cost of over $69 million.

Minister Arscott informed that the disposal site has been fully covered. In addition, tipping cells have been re-established to allow for no more than three acres of the facility to be open at a time, which has also served to make the facility less prone to outbreaks of large fires.

Since 2005, there have been 12 fires at Riverton City, with the last major fire occurring in March 2015.

Minister Arscott further informed that construction of a concrete access road is now underway through US$1.8 million in funding from the Government of Mexico. Perimeter access roads were also constructed around the base of the site, along with other arterial roads that run through the facility.

Mr. Arscott said he believes the NSWMA has responded commendably to the challenges relating to the dumping facility, noting that he expects the improvements to continue.

“The issues confronted by the NSWMA are, and continue to be significant. The agency is challenged to improve and expand on its mandate of public cleansing, in the context of constricted budgetary space,” he noted.

The Minister informed that a programme for the separation of waste has also been implemented and is ongoing.

“We hope to continue that programme until we get every household in Jamaica to develop a culture of separating their garbage and we have the capacity to have a better handle on garbage disposal in the country,” he said.

A weigh scale to capture the volumetric amounts of waste being delivered daily at the facility is also being repaired and calibrated, and will be fully operational by January. The system will ensure that fees to collection contractors are based on the total volume of garbage delivered.

Chairman of the NSWMA, Dennis Chung, in his remarks at the press conference, said the NSWMA Board has visited other landfills across the island to determine their condition.

He said focus will next be placed on the Retirement facility in Montego Bay. The Doctors Wood facility is being deactivated and plans are underway to install a transfer station instead.

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