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Story Highlights

  • Some $25 million will be expended on public cleansing activities, while another $20 million will go toward the removal of bulk waste.
  • NSWMA is taking a proactive approach to dealing with the threat to public health from the pile up of waste in town centres and business districts.
  • The clean-up effort will start on December 15.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) will be spending some $45 million over the festive season to clean-up, clear, transport and dispose of solid waste, generation of which is expected to increase significantly during the period.

Some $25 million will be expended on public cleansing activities, while another $20 million will go toward the removal of bulk waste and the clearance of illegal and roadside dumps.

Speaking at a press conference at the agency’s Half-Way-Tree Road offices on December 10, Executive Director, Jennifer Edwards said the NSWMA is taking a proactive approach to dealing with the threat to public health from the pile up of waste in town centres and business districts, and the expected increase in domestic garbage.

“The volume of solid waste generated by each person as a result of cleaning, packaging, purchases, parties/family gatherings during the holiday season increases by an average of between 20 and 30 per cent,” Ms. Edwards said.

The clean-up effort will start on December 15, and involve the collection and clearance of bulky waste, the clearance of any waste backlog, particularly at illegal dumps and roadside disposals.

“For example, we will again clean the site at Hagley Park road in the vicinity of Coburn Pen…we will again be cleaning up the area in Cassava Piece, the one on Waltham Park road in the vicinity of the Chinese cemetery and the one in Frog City, behind the Norman Manley High School. It is also intended to increase the frequency of collection in those areas known to have increased waste generation at this time of year. Particular attention will be paid to the downtown districts and our main streets,” Ms. Edwards outlined.

The NSWMA is proposing to add 15 per cent to the current contract of sweeping contractors to deal with the waste/litter that occur in relation to house and other social events or parties. Where there is no contractor, additional sweepers and supervisors will be engaged.

Since November 5, the NSWMA has been meeting with the Kingston and St. Andrew Corporation (KSAC), parish councils, the police, vendors, merchants, and waste haulers in both the public and private sectors to partner on implementing the waste collection plan.

The dialogue is also in an effort to inform and educate the various agencies and bodies of their roles and responsibilities in relation to proper waste management.

Miss Edwards informed that members of the authority’s Enforcement and Compliance Department, and community relations offices have also met with the various groups, and have been conducting one-on-one meetings with merchants and other persons to educate them on the requirements of the NSWMA Act.

The Executive Director said the Enforcement and Compliance Department has been actively involved in the training of municipal police island-wide, who, along with Island Special Constabulary Force (ISCF), will ensure that public order is maintained.

“Going forward, the enforcement officers will take a zero tolerance approach towards offenders and violators under the NSWMA Act, leading up to, during, and after the holiday,” Ms. Edwards stated.

The public education campaign will continue up to January 5, 2014, and involve brochures, flyers, and time signals. This will be bolstered by NSWMA representatives attending citizen’s associations and youth group meetings, as well as other community activities.