WPM regional manager praises those who helped to put out Retirement disposal site fire

Observer West reporter

Thursday, August 02, 2018

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RETIREMENT, St James — Garnett Edmonson, the regional manager for Western Parks and Markets (WPM) — a subsidiary of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) — is praising the fire brigade and employees of the WPM/NSWMA for their efforts in bringing the recent fire at the Retirement disposal site in St James under control.

Edmondson disclosed that for a week, about five staffers and himself did not go home as they had to put out the blaze along with firefighters.

“We didn't go home for a week. It was during the heights of Sumfest, and that it was where the smoke would head s— the Freeport and Catherine Hall areas. We were also mindful of the communities of Bogue Village, Granville, Pitfour, Gutters, those communities where residents are; and we wanted to ensure that we safeguarded the lives of those persons and return the environment to its normal setting,” Edmondson told the Jamaica Observer West.

Edmonson reflected that there were up to 20 trucks at any one-point transporting marl and soil to douse the flames.

“Because what we do is use the soil to cover the areas so that we could stifle out that smoke,” Edmondson said, adding that a major road was also constructed around the landfill “to provide access to fire units to the site”.

Several sections of the Montego Bay, including the business community, lashed out at the solid waste agency for their failure to bring the fire which raged at the dump site for two weeks, spreading smoke to a number of surrounding areas.

But during a tour of the facility on Monday, Edmondson, who pointed out that there was now no fire at the facility, said the security of the disposal site — which is believed to have been set ablaze by someone who lives on the site — is now of paramount interest.

“We have asked the police to look into the matter and, rest assured, we are doing everything in our power to keep the site safe from any person who wishes to carry out any future act,” Edmondson stressed.

“Our executive director will be putting in place some plans with other agencies to ensure that we look into this in a holistic way, because we cannot afford to have another fire. So, we have to ensure that we deal with the security of the site in a serious way.”

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