Friday 18 October, 2019

RUBBISH! MoBay mayor insists NSWMA must change course in St James

Montego Bay Mayor, Homer Davis, has again expressed disappointment with the manner in which the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is operating in St James.

Speaking at the regular monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation on Thursday, Davis said complaints continue to flood councillors in the parish about the non-collection of domestic garbage, especially in the rural parts of the parish.

He added that while residents have been complaining, reports of non-collection of commercial garbage have been non-existent, which he cited as a clear indication that the NSWMA has shifted somewhat from its core duty – domestic garbage collection – in favour of the making-money commercial collection business.

“NSWMA needs to refocus on its core duties of collecting domestic waste, and give private contractors the franchise to collect and remove commercial waste,” declared Davis.

“The agency was established to collect and remove domestic solid waste, and over the years it has shifted its focus to removing commercial waste simply because of the financial returns associated with that. I am, however, stating here and now, that NSWMA in St James must return to its core function and leave the commercial side of things to private contractors,” insisted the mayor.

He said he understands that the NSWMA needs to earn its keep, but said monies which it will lose by franchising out the collection of commercial garbage to private contractors, can be realised through the collection of tipping fees at the landfill.

“I understand that the agency must earn, and commercial garbage collection is a lucrative venture. However, funds which may be lost by giving up the commercial aspect, can be recovered through the collection of tipping fees. I am adamant that the NSWMA must return to the collection and disposal of residential waste before it undertakes any commercial activity,” a strident Mayor Davis said.

He indicated that he will be convening a meeting involving the Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Desmond McKenzie; the executive director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon; and councillors of the St James Municipal Corporation, to seriously discuss the vexed issue of the NSWMA’s operations in St James.

“I am very serious about getting the NSWMA to prioritise the collection and disposal of domestic waste in St James. Focus on commercial activities by the agency can remain in other parishes, but the mode of operation in this parish must change. Our citizens pay taxes which helps to underwrite the cost of solid waste disposal, and they must start getting value for their money,” insisted Davis.

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