Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is committed to using tax payers’ dollars wisely and efficiently as it continues to provide key resources for the public.
“We are using your tax dollars not just to bush the roads, not just to clear the curbs, channels and gullies, but we are also making capital investments in equipment that will improve service delivery,” he said.
Mr. Holness was speaking at the handover of 11 new compactor garbage trucks to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) during a ceremony at Jamaica House today (October 24).
The units, valued at US$1.65 million (J$214.7 million), were acquired through the proceeds of property taxes.
Mr. Holness noted that with the provision of the trucks, the Government, through the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development, continues to demonstrate its commitment to strengthening the capacity and operations of the NSWMA.
“This is not only being shown by the important changes in corporate governance that are continuing at the NSWMA but also through strengthening of its operational capacity,” he said.
The Prime Minister urged citizens to pay their property taxes “so that the burden is spread fairly over the population and more resources are available to the country”.
For his part, Portfolio Minister, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, said the event marked the first time in history that the NSWMA would be receiving 11 new trucks at once.
He said the Government is working to increase the fleet over the next year and a half to close to 100 new trucks as it continues to improve the efficiency of the operations of the agency.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the NSWMA, Dennis Chung, said the additional trucks will contribute substantially to the agency’s strategic goal of having twice-weekly collection throughout the island.
He also called for persons to make sure they are property tax compliant “because we depend on that”.
NSWMA’s Executive Director, Audley Gordon, for his part, pointed out that with every addition of a new truck, service delivery is boosted.
“Wherever we have dispatched those trucks, efficiency is evident… (and) people compliment us for the reliable service we are providing,” he said.
The trucks will be distributed to the NSWMA’s regional entities. The Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Waste Management Limited, Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited and Metropolitan Parks and Market (MPM) Waste Management Limited will each receive three units, while the North Eastern Parks and Markets (NEPM) Waste Management Limited will receive two units.
The trucks bring to 28 the number of new garbage units delivered to the NSWMA since the start of the financial year, at an overall value of J$561.8 million.
Photo: Yhomo Hutchinson