On this edition of the Introvert Soapbox, we’ll get into the garbage collection woes in Jamaica, alleged mismanagement by the National Solid Waste Management Authority, and what can be done to improve garbage collection in the island nation. So let’s unpack this.
I do not agree with Audley Gordon’s assessment on the garbage collection issues. He has been saying that since day one. I believe the real problem is improper maintenance that is causing the equipment shortages, and they don’t know what they are doing. Indeed, dustcarts that over 10 years old will certainly require more maintenance that newer ones. If a proper preventive maintenance (PM) program is implemented, and dustcarts replaced at either ten or 15 year intervals, the availability rate would be higher. I do know that England ships their retired dustcarts and other lorries to Jamaican on occasion. Most of the fleet is U.S. spec with left hand drive. Jamaica is right hand drive. I have seen some of these older lorries in action. Some of them have no lights in the rear. No lens for brake lights and indicators! Just an empty space where they should be. That is a safety hazard. The hydraulics on these lorries are slow, which is a sign that system pressure is low due to a weak pump, low hydraulic oil, or the seals in the rams are failing and need to be replaced.
I spent eight years at the Department of Sanitation in NYC. All of the equipment in my garage was well maintained. Every day, I had a piece of equipment to wash; whether it was a dustcart, a mechanical broom, a loader, or the in house wrecker. After washing, they would be greased and whatever needed servicing was sorted. Every few years, the department purchases new equipment, and the outgoing equipment has low miles, but with some degree of rust due to being used as snow plows in the winter and sitting outside in the elements. The retired equipment is purchased by other municipalities in the state. Some end up in the Highway Department of my county Ex DSNY wreckers that are over 20 years old are still going strong out here.
I do not like how the NSWMA manages garbage collection. Out of 104 bin lorries, only 60 are reliable? That is atrocious! 60 bin lorries cannot cover all the parishes in Jamaica in one day. And it is not just residential collection that is the problem. The agency also manages garbage collection from commercial establishments, and their trash is not being collected on a timely basis. Watch this video below:
I assume the dustcart in the background is being used to clean up the mound of garbage behind the Linstead Councillor. That is like using a teaspoon to dig the foundation for a new building. A “cutdown” (dump truck) and an articulated loader would be better suited for this type of work. And the dustman and the dustwoman as it seems to be, is either working hard, or hardly working. This is unacceptable.
As you can see from the NSWMA web page, Jamaica has eight disposal sites, which I bet are all landfills. During my time in NYC sanitation, I quickly came to the realisation that landfills are not the answer to disposal issues. You’re just creating an artificial mountain. At some point, the landfill will reach capacity, and then it must be capped, closed, and the land reclaimed. The only good thing that happens is that decaying garbage creates methane gas that can be used to operate power plants.
What can be done to solve the ongoing garbage collection problem? I have a few ideas. Based on my experience, a sanitation district should be created to cover X amount of towns or parishes with enough dustcarts to cover all the residential routes. A separate district could be created to handle waste from commercial establishments. Also, skips need to be purchased and assigned to the stores and restaurants so they can dispose of their waste properly and not contribute to the vermin problem by putting it in the street. Collection times could be from 6am-3pm and 4pm to 12am Monday-Saturday. The government should consider building a waste to energy plant(s) and consider starting a recycling program for plastics, glass, cans, and newspapers to help reduce what goes to the landfill.
Of course, all this costs billions of dollars that the government does not have. Usually they secure grants from foreign countries like China or Japan to purchase new equipment or to improve the highway system. For example, thanks to Chinese investment, Jamaica now has modern paved roads and highways. But they are too busy using the Dictator for Life aka Joe Biden as a puppet and destroying the United States in the process. NSWMA management needs to either be held accountable for the lack of timely garbage collection, or fire Gordon and his team and bring in new people. This has been going on for months, and I’m tired of hearing about it.
Most of you may know that I’m Jamaican, and I keep up with what a gwan down a yaard through CVM Television via YouTube. As we say, nuff tings gone wrong, but the garbage issue is the most pressing one. I’m sure Biden and his Democrat cohorts in the White House would grant them the money. Look how much money the United States is sending to the Ukraine. How about sending a few billion to Jamaica and help the government get the island cleaned up for goodness sake! The Democrats throw money around like its nothing. And that is why the United States is buckling under the weight of hyper inflation thanks to their reckless spending.
So that will do it for me. Thanks for reading. You can leave a comment if you wish. Shout out to my daughter who finally quit smoking. I blame her mother for getting her hooked. Be safe, be strong, and have a good day/evening or night.