Solid Waste accuses Joseph of politicizing garbage-collection; but residents say criticism is motivated by Minister’s shame

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is seeking to discredit the efforts of Senator Johnathon Joseph, five days after he removed nearly three weeks’ worth of garbage in the St. Mary’s North constituency.

In a press statement – widely believed to have been prompted by the Minister of Health, Wellness and the Environment – the Authority is now accusing Joseph of creating some confusion by his intervention.

The Authority says it is “aware of an incident occurring on Friday 1st April, 2022, where a private citizen was claiming that residential waste was not being collected in the Bendals community.”

The statement reminds the public that the Authority is the agency mandated to collect, transport, and dispose of solid waste.  However, “due to organizational and operational challenges faced by the Authority, there have, on occasion, been periodic delays,” it admits.

It notes, however, that there were no such challenges with the collection of waste in Bendals last Friday.

The statement fails to acknowledge that, before he undertook the collection of refuse, Senator Joseph had appealed to MP Sir Molwyn Joseph, the area’s representative, to take action. 

Senator Joseph also publicly shared the complaints of some Cashew Hill residents, whose waste had been uncollected, in some instances, for nearly a month, and posted photos of the accumulated garbage.

The Solid Waste Authority’s statement did not address this issue.   Instead, it notes that “at the very time the private citizen claimed he was providing the service,” collection was taking place in Bendals and the surrounding communities by the two scheduled contracted haulers assigned to the area.

According to the Authority, the Senator’s actions added much confusion, and it accuses him of trying to politicize “a very basic public service.”

Further, by posting photographs of his service on social media, the Authority claims Joseph is giving the impression that he was fulfilling its collection schedule for residential waste.

 The Authority is also claiming that Senator Joseph’s safety and health could have been compromised, given that he was not wearing the appropriate protective attire when undertaking “this specialized activity.”

This expression of concern for Joseph’s well-being has provoked laughter and ridicule among many residents, one of whom is asking, “When last the Authority see the garbage-collectors?  Which one of them have on protective gear?”

Another one tells REAL News the Authority’s statement is “pure hypocrisy and shame that Johnathan showed up Molwyn – both in his constituency and his Ministry.”

While his garbage collection was focused on a Cashew Hill neighbourhood, Senator Joseph also went to other parts of the constituency to remove waste that reportedly had also been uncollected.