With the budget for public cleansing and garbage disposal amounting to $150 million per month, the Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, is appealing to Jamaicans to stop littering.
“Stop littering and throwing waste from the windows of our cars and throwing garbage wantonly in our gullies and water-ways. For far too long, we have taken the environment for granted; it is full time now that we stop this indiscipline!” he said.
The Minister, in his Sectoral presentation on June 26 in the House of Representatives, informed that funding for public cleansing is being primarily met from the proceeds of property tax, and allocations are made to the parks and markets through the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
Metropolitan Parks and Markets (MPM) receives the lion’s share of the funds at $83,693,982 per month. The rest is shared between North Eastern Parks and Markets, $20,103,089; Western Parks and Markets $19,721,046 and Southern Parks and Markets, $26,481,883 per month.
With so much being spent on public cleansing, the Minister said that Jamaicans need to be more conscientious and responsible in the way they dispose of their waste and be “proper stewards of our nation through developing a new attitude (towards) cleanliness.”
The Minister also indicated a possible restructuring at the NSWMA, noting that “recent unfortunate occurrences,” has made it clear that, “significant organisational restructuring is urgently needed to ensure higher standards of accountability, transparency and to regain public trust.”
By Andrea Braham