The Star (Jamaica)
Garbage pile-up annoys St Bess councillor
Juxtaposed against the rolling fields and lush greenery of St Elizabeth, the sight of huge piles of improperly disposed garbage is creating an eyesore for several communities.
In an interview with THE STAR, Councillor for the Myersville Division, Layton Smith, described garbage disposal on a whole in the parish as “terrible”. One example is along the Nain to Emmaus road, where the sign for the Myersville Solid Waste Facility, which is the official dumping area, is roughly 800 metres from an area where illegal dumping is taking place.
“I don’t know if it’s persons who have garbage at home that’s not being collected who are throwing it there, or is a truck go there and empty it there. I’m not sure. To be honest, I’ve been asking the questions for weeks. How come that garbage is there and the truck pass there every day go to the dump site? I cannot get an answer towards that as yet.”
Smith said this issue, which has persisted for well over a year, has been reported to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), but this has yielded little result.
“I reported it at meetings, I reported it to the 0olid Waste [Management Authority] person in charge of the area. I don’t see anything done to it, so I don’t really know what’s happening,” he said. Smith said that in some areas within his division, garbage has not been collected for up to six weeks.
“It is terrible, and whenever you call and report [it], you find dem send in a truck afterwards. Right now as we speak, there is a garbage area in Lititz that has not been collected for five weeks now. I went there at a ‘dead yard’ over the weekend and it is in [a] terrible condition. The garbage is piled up. New Building is in a deplorable condition; Red Bank; Fairfield; almost the entire division is in [a] deplorable condition,” he said.
“What Solid Waste [Management Authority]is saying, is that they don’t have enough trucks, and from months, probably about a year now, we have this problem in St Elizabeth.”
Smith said he feels as if the complaints have been falling on deaf ears.
“We even go as far as to ask our CEO to write to the minister to give councillors even some funding, so that we can hire some private trucks to clean out the division. And we have not yet heard back,” he said.
THE STAR reached out to the NSWMA Regional Operations Manager Edward Muir for a comment, but calls made to his phone went unanswered up to press time.