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Mayor of Kingston, Senator Desmond McKenzie, has suggested that the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) be appointed the sole agency to collect and export scrap metal.
He noted that the Authority would be ideal for this function as, for the past two years, the NSWMA has been doing a good job in the collection of scrap metal.
Mayor McKenzie was speaking at the launch of the NSWMA’s 2010/11 Public Relations Campaign, at the Courtleigh Hotel and Suites, New Kingston on Wednesday (April 7).
He said that the scrap metal industry needs to be regulated, as it is developing “scrap metal criminals” who have become one of the major destroyers of the environment, over the last three years.
“I believe that this is becoming too ridiculous, now. How can we operate a country in which people are stealing bridges, water mains, street signs, to sell as scrap metal? It cannot continue like this,” he commented.
The Mayor lamented that 45 per cent of all directional street signs and stop signs in downtown Kingston have been stolen overnight and sold as scrap metals.
He said this activity has been a “nightmare” for the country in terms of cost and value noting that, in the last six years, the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC) has spent in excess of $20 million to erect street signs across the Corporate Area.
The Mayor noted that while some persons may see his call as a move against private enterprises, his concern was with unregulated businesses getting out of hand.
“And, as far as I am concerned, the scrap metal industry in Jamaica is totally out of control,” Mayor McKenzie said.