Aretha McFarlane (left) and Audley Gordon in Linstead on Wednesday

Despite complaints that the town of Linstead in St. Catherine is often littered with garbage, Operations Director at the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Aretha McFarlane said commuters come out to a clean town each morning.

“The town centre is cleaned every night religiously, and we have sweepers on the ground who sweep and keep the town centre clean. So commuters coming out in the mornings; they do come out to a clean town centre and we ensure that that is a reality,” she told The Beacon with her boss – Audley Gordon – in earshot.

McFarlane added: “Yes we do have a little challenge in terms of the residential collection [of garbage] sometimes because of resource constraint. Notwithstanding, we do have a [garbage] truck in Linstead – at least one truck in Linstead daily.”

McFarlane, Gordon and other NSWMA stakeholders conducted a tour of Linstead on Wednesday (September 29) as part of an effort to find solutions for solid waste management issues in the area. The team was accompanied by Councillor for Linstead Division Herbert Garriques.

The NSWMA boss, Gordon, after the tour, lamented the improper disposal of garbage taking place throughout Linstead town.

“We look at the commercial activities and we see where the business owners can do much better in most cases to help us manage the solid waste challenges that we have in this area. How can they do that? They can better containerize their garbage – the vendors too… They have to help us,” Gordon said.

He further reasoned: “When you (business operators) sell, the garbage that is generated from your business – your little shop [and] yuh little jerk pan, you have to take responsibility for it. You have to make sure it is properly containerized. You have to make sure it is not scattered all over the place and create unsightliness – the flies [and] the maggots, and impede your very shoppers who want to come and buy from you. You make more money in a clean space.”

In the meantime, Gordon noted that the government had promised to provide the NSWMA with an additional 100 garbage trucks, but that has been delayed to facilitate the administration’s spending in the fight against COVID-19.

He urged the government to fulfill the promise so that garbage collection can improve island-wide.

“Two years ago, the minister of finance announced 100 new garbage trucks for the NSWMA… We need the trucks and we are hoping that very soon the government will get the finances together and honour that commitment,” Gordon commented. “We know it is not something that was cancelled; it was only differed because of the [COVID-19] pandemic. So we are hoping that we will soon be able to get those [garbage] trucks.”


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