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Technology coming to aid garbage collection

Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Honourable Desmond McKenzie says technology will be introduced to transform solid waste management services across the island.

“In the new financial year, we are going to introduce technology in sweep cleaning. We are going to be bringing at least 10 of these sweep cleaning machines into the system as part of the new revolutionary approach to garbage collection and street sweeping in the country,” he said.

Minister McKenzie was speaking at a special ceremony on November 30 where Prime Minister Andrew Holness handed over 50 new garbage trucks and 10 motorcycles to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

He added that the NSWMA’s enforcement team has received the requisite tools with the motorcycles.

“The bikes will make them more efficient, to go around the country to monitor and to see where illegal dumping is taking place. They will be in a position to issue more tickets.”

The trucks were programmed for acquisition prior to the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. However, those plans were delayed due to the economic fallout resulting from the pandemic, which saw government revenue inflows declining by J$75 billion that year.

The NSWMA provides solid waste management services across the island and safeguards public health as well as creates aesthetically-pleasing environment for both residents and visitors to experience.

Dr Nigel Clarke, Minister of Finance and the Public Service, also announced that 50 more garbage trucks will be acquired from the capital expenditure budget next year.

“Although we like to wait until March to announce the budget for the year that follows, some things are too important to wait until March. I want to confirm what has already been said, that we have already reserved space in the capital expenditure budget for 50 more trucks in 2023/2024,” he shared.

NSWMA Chairman, Dennis Chung, expressed gratitude for the new units and for the additional 50 trucks that will arrive in the country next year.

“Jamaica is grateful,” he said and urged Jamaicans to dispose of their garbage properly.