Security arrangements at the Riverton City Landfill, off Spanish Town Road in Kingston, are to be further enhanced with a donation of $1 million by brewing company, Red Stripe.
The money will be used to, among other things, procure surveillance equipment for the landfill.
This is in addition to enhanced security measures the Government has put in place following recent fires at the disposal site, suspected to be the work of arsonists.
Speaking at a handover ceremony at Red Stripe’s Spanish Town Road location on Friday (August 24), Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, noted that security has also been increased at all landfills across the country since the fires.
The Minister said that some of the security measures will be visible, while others will be discreet, and bemoaned the indiscipline that exists around the country’s disposal sites, particularly the Riverton City and Retirement facilities.
“It is a sad reflection on us as a country when we have to waste the kind of resources that we have to guard a landfill from people with criminal and devious intent,” Mr. McKenzie said.
The Minister lamented that over the last eight to 10 weeks, the Government has had to spend $150 million to extinguish fires which could have otherwise been used “to fix some more roads, upgrade some more infirmaries and provide more summer employment for our young people.”
In the meantime, Minister McKenzie welcomed the donation, noting that this is an ideal demonstration of good corporate social responsibility.
“It is not just the Government’s problem, but it is a problem that affects all of us. When there is fire, it means that production is low, it means that we would lose valuable hours in the workplace and there are many associated problems with fires that are created unnecessarily,” he said.
In his remarks, Managing Director, Red Stripe, Ricardo Nuncio, noted that the fire had an impact on the company’s employees and operations, and the donation is one tangible way to provide support.
He said the money is one of the 100 gifts the company will be giving away in celebration of its 100th year in operation.
“We want to give this gift to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to support their efforts of managing the Riverton City (landfill) better. I know it’s not going to solve your entire problems, but I think that it’s definitely going to help you go in the right direction and avoid this issue from happening again,” he said.
The money was provided through the brewery’s Desnoes and Geddes Foundation, which carries out its philanthropic work.