The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has reported a reduction in the backlog of garbage collected over the last few weeks.

“What we are finding is that we are receiving fewer calls and complaints. The trucks are actively collecting and the traffic has decreased, and that helps us with our efficiency. We are able to complete collections in communities and we are able to cover more communities, so we are seeing less backlog at this time,” said NSWMA’s Public Relations Specialist, Kimberley Blair.

Ms. Blair was speaking with JIS News about the impact COVID-19 has had on the Authority’s operations.

Since the announcement of the country’s first confirmed case of the virus, several measures have been taken by the Government and the private sector to limit its spread. Some of these include non-essential employees working from home and adjusted opening hours for several businesses. This has led to a reduction of traffic on the roadways, which is a major factor in the Authority’s service delivery.

The NSWMA has also put measures in place to help mitigate the spread of the virus. The Authority was proactive in conducting an intense training series with its regional bodies in the months of January and February. Now the crews are equipped to protect themselves and residents as they carry out their task.

“We understand the fear of spreading the COVID-19 and the uncertainty with how it spreads and how long it lasts on different surfaces.

Our teams are trained and they are wearing the necessary personal protective gear to minimise the exposure to hazards. Our trucks are sanitised daily with an alcohol solution and we have a bucket with water on the trucks and there is soap. They also have individual sanitisers and our supervisors and team leaders give a daily reminder to our sanitation workers to be extra careful,” Ms. Blair said.

While sanitation workers play their part, the NSWMA is asking citizens to secure household garbage by properly bagging, tying, and placing it in a container for collection, and double-bagging garbage containing tissue, gloves, face masks and diapers.