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Garbage disposal in focus at Negril townhall meeting

Businessman wants WPM’s commercialcontracts terminated; NSWMA’s executive director urges residents to manage waste

Published:Saturday | November 25, 2023 | 12:07 AMAlbert Ferguson/Gleaner Writer
Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority addressing residents and stakeholders about solid waste 
concerns at a town hall meeting at the Negril Community Centre in Negril, Westmoreland.
Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority addressing residents and stakeholders about solid waste concerns at a town hall meeting at the Negril Community Centre in Negril, Westmoreland.
Negril hotelier Daniel Grizzle urges Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority to cancel all commercial contracts the agency has within Negril and focus on residential waste collection. The meeting was hosted by Wes
Negril hotelier Daniel Grizzle urges Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority to cancel all commercial contracts the agency has within Negril and focus on residential waste collection. The meeting was hosted by Western Parks and Markets Limited at the Negril Community Centre.
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WESTERN BUREAU:

STAKEHOLDERS IN Negril, Westmoreland, are fed up with Western Parks and Market’s (WPM) collection of residential waste.

As a result Daniel Grizzle, a hotelier and businessman, has called on the agency to terminate all existing commercial contracts and cease negotiating new ones to resolve the issue.

“What I want you to do tomorrow when you get to your office is send out a note, cancelling all the commercial entities that you have contracts with within Negril, and concentrate on taking up domestic garbage,” said Grizzle, the managing director and owner of Charela Inn Hotel.

This move, he said, would help WPM fulfil its primary obligation to residential customers who pay land taxes religiously but do not benefit from them.

“It is a filthy, horrible, and disgusting state,” the hotelier said, describing the resort town of Negril, where garbage can now be seen lying on the roads, stretching all over the town.

Grizzle vented his frustration at a recent townhall meeting held to address the solid waste concerns of residents and stakeholders at the Negril Community Centre, which featured Audley Gordon, the executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

“I was in Scotiabank, waiting in line, and your (WPM) truck was in Burger King for 20 minutes, taking up garbage when the people who are paying their land taxes, garbage is rotting in their houses,” Grizzle stated.

Gordon did not respond to the suggestion that the WPM’s commercial contractors be terminated, but he said all households from Negril to Morant Point should buy into the concept of managing their own waste until this problem is resolved.

“The truth is, we all have to see ourselves as managers in this waste management industry; if not, we will continue to see illegal dump sites popping up all over the place from Orange Bay to Negril,” Gordon stated, noting that he observed four mini-dump sites along that route.

“Until we get in the heads of people that they are responsible for the solid waste that they generate, we can’t get enough trucks in Jamaica to fix the waste management problem,” the NSWMA executive director explained.

“I want people to see waste management from the perspective that they created the waste and have a duty to manage that waste until the Government comes to collect it,” Gordon said.

“There may be people in this room who disagree with that, but if we disagree, then we must not feel bad if somebody goes up to the main road and throws their waste on the side of the road.”

Gordon is also seeking greater acceptance of composting in the management of solid waste.

“Were we to get people to buy into composting, between ourselves, the Social Development Commission, and RADA (Rural Agricultural Development Authority), we could get the training in the different communities, we could convert a per cent of that waste, and instead of trucking it out, it could be used to nourish plants in farms and flower gardens, and we could see the crops producing better yields,” he added.

albert.ferguson@gleanerjm.com