SPM to increase garbage collection with new trucks

VIDEO: SPM to increase garbage collection with new trucks

Units said to be safer for workers

BY KASEY WILLIAMS
Sunday Observer writer
editorial@jamaicaobserver.com

Sunday, August 02, 2020

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MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Regional operations manager for Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Waste Management, Edward Muir, has said that there will be an increase in the collection of solid waste following the recent addition of four new trucks to SPM’s fleet.

SPM is under the banner of the Government-operated National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and is responsible for garbage collection in Manchester, St Elizabeth and Clarendon.

The Government handed over 20 new Shacman F3000 compactor units to the NSWMA recently.

“Our fleet is now up to 17 operational units while seven units are down. These new trucks will allow us to maintain a once per week collection in each area,” Muir told the Jamaica Observer on Wednesday.

Word of the additional trucks comes even as residents in Manchester communities including Ingleside and Hanbury on the outskirts of Mandeville continue to complain due to the pile-up of garbage in their communities.

“The truck usually comes on a Monday but up to today [Friday] I haven’t seen it. The garbage is piling up. Luckily for some people their neighbours are away, so they put the excess garbage in their neighbours skips,” a resident of Ingleside, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, told the Sunday Observer.

“Sometimes I wonder if we are not paying property tax like other places because I hardly see the garbage truck come around here, especially off the main. I have to carry my garbage to Mandeville and throw it in one of the big skips. Luckily, I have a vehicle to carry the garbage in. Other people just dash the garbage at an illegal dumping site beside the main road and it is an eyesore,” a resident of Knockpatrick told the Sunday Observer.

Muir is adamant that there will be an improvement in solid waste collection.

“I am fully aware that there is some backlog in some areas in the region, but with the four additional units, this will help to alleviate some of the issues that we currently have. I don’t want to put a timeline, but we are working assiduously to ensure that all these backlogs are cleared within a week or so,” Muir stressed.

SPM employees can now safely work and travel on each unit which has a four-door cabin and seating.

“The difference with these new trucks is that they have four doors, so for our sanitisation crew it is much easier for the units to accommodate them inside [especially] when it rains. With the other units, workers had to enter from the front,” Muir said.

“I am appealing to residents and commercial [operators] to ensure that they containerise their garbage in a more responsible manner… Residents can also now look on SPM’s social media and they will see when the units are coming into their areas… The more time we spend clearing garbage that is not properly disposed of is the less time to get around in collecting garbage each day,” Muir said.

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