Published:Sunday | July 26, 2020 | 12:00 AM

Twenty brand-new Shacman F3000 compactor garbage trucks were handed over to the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) at a ceremony held at the Office of the Prime Minister on July 23.

Speaking at the ceremony, Desmond McKenzie, minister of local government and community development, stated that each parish would receive one of the new Shacman trucks. The major cities, Kingston and Montego Bay, will each receive an additional truck. Highly populated areas were considered, and the decision was taken to provide St Catherine with an additional truck to service Portmore, as well as one more in Clarendon to service the Longville Park and Mineral Heights housing schemes. The remaining two trucks will be used across the island for commercial collection.

The NSWMA previously had 130 trucks in its fleet with 64 being added within the last four years alone.

At the ceremony, Prime Minister Andrew Holness recognised that the NSWMA’s fleet of 130 trucks for the entire country was “simply not enough”. In light of this, Holness went on to stress the significance of adding 20 trucks to the fleet and stated, “It is a major achievement, one that should be marked with some ceremony to bring that across to the public – that the Government is serious about increasing the fleet and, therefore, increasing the service.”

Some 30 NSWMA drivers have so far been trained by Tank-Weld Equipment to ensure that they understand how to properly operate and maintain the new Shacman trucks. This is in an effort to ensure that the trucks stay in tip-top shape to service the Jamaican people.

“Tank-Weld Equipment is elated to partner with NSWMA with their significant purchase of 20 Shacman compactor garbage trucks,” said John Ralston, managing director at Tank-Weld Equipment. “It is not lost on us the impact that these 20 new garbage trucks will have on the system for the Ministry of Local Government to fulfil their garbage-disposal responsibilities,” said Ralston.

In October 2019, the NSWMA sent out a tender for 20 new garbage trucks to be added to its fleet. Tank-Weld Equipment, exclusive dealer for Shacman in Jamaica and the Caribbean, won the bid, and 20 new Shacman F3000 compactor garbage trucks arrived on the island in June 2020.