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NSWMA begins major garbage cleanup in Portmore

By Kimone Witter 

Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Audley Gordon says about seventeen garbage trucks are involved in today's major cleanup exercise in Portmore, St. Catherine, where there is a large pileup of garbage.

Twelve of the trucks are from the new fleet of 50 handed over to the Authority on Wednesday.

Some of the new trucks will be specially deployed across the island as part of an emergency response system to deal with garbage pileups.

Speaking from the truck dispatch site at the Portmore Towncentre on Thursday morning, Mr. Gordon said the emergency response programme will continue into the New Year.

He noted that the garbage backlog in Portmore is widespread but the plan is for the municipality to be "backlog free by Christmas". 

But Mr. Gordon said garbage collectors will have to be vigilant as residents are dumping items that could damage the compactors.

"People are doing their construction, their refurbishing and they bring bags of broken tiles and put it with the regular garbage over here. Now, these can’t go on the compactor. If we put these on the compactor, we mash up the new truck weh you buy," he cautioned. 

The NSWMA executive director said when the company comes across items like these, it is then forced to return with a tipper truck, which stretches its budget "beyond what we can manage to come and take up things that people ought rightly to dispose of for themselves". 

Political representatives and civic leaders from Portmore were on hand Thursday morning to show appreciation for the garbage cleanup.