Garbage collection in the Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited region, which covers Trelawny, Hanover, Westmoreland and St. James, should be improved, as the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) handed over a new garbage truck today (September 23).
The truck was presented to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) by JSIF, through its Integrated Community Development Project (ICDP), which aims to enhance access to basic urban infrastructure and social services and contribute towards increased community safety in selected economically vulnerable and socially volatile inner-city communities in Jamaica.
Speaking at the ceremony, held at the NSWMA headquarters in Kingston, Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, commended JSIF for its ties with the NSWMA, noting that it is a “treasured partnership”, which has benefited the organisation significantly in terms of personnel and equipment.
“As we receive this new truck, it will be a part of the continued improvement of the fleet of the NSWMA,” the Minister said.
“We have indicated that we are still in the process of securing additional trucks for the entity and once we have done so, we are promising the country that they will see significant improvement in garbage collection,” he added.
The Minister stressed that citizens need to have a sense of discipline in how they dispose of their garbage, as it is not enough to just provide sufficient trucks across the island. Persons also have a role to play.
For his part, Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, expressed gratitude to the JSIF.
“We know that although it is one truck that is being handed over this morning, there are many more where that one came from,” he said.
Meanwhile, Managing Director of JSIF, Omar Sweeney, said the agency is pleased with the partnership it has shared with the NSWMA since 2006.
“Over the past 14 years, we have specifically targeted inner-city and urban communities with respect to improving the collection of garbage, which includes containerisation, environmental wardens, skips and other equipment relating to keeping these communities clean,” he said.
“Since our partnership started, more than 140,000 beneficiaries in 30 communities have benefited from this programme and we know the challenge of garbage collection is difficult, because there are a number of issues.
What I will tell you, in interacting with the communities, their feedback, more than anything else, they now feel like they are getting the same type of service the rest of Jamaica gets,” Mr. Sweeney said.
The WPM Waste Management Limited, which is one of the NSWMA regional offices, now has 26 trucks in service.