Efforts by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) to encourage proper waste disposal habits in 12 communities have been boosted through the donation of garbage collection receptacles.
The 55 garbage skips, which were contributed by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF) under the solid waste management component of its World Bank-funded Inner City Basic Services Project (ICBSP), were officially handed over on May 22, at a ceremony at the Federal Gardens Community Centre in Kingston.
The communities to benefit are: Federal Gardens, Jones Town, Whitfield Town, Passmore Town and Craig Town in St. Andrew; Tawes Meadows, Central Village, Lauriston, Shelter Rock, Knollis, Africa/March Pen in St. Catherine; Bucknor in Clarendon; and Flanker in St. James.
Speaking at the handing over ceremony, Minister of Information, Senator the Hon. Sandrea Falconer, said that the residents of the communities have a critical role to play in the proper disposal of garbage as the provision of the equipment will not by itself make communities clean.
“Use the skips properly and appropriately. Too often, services and facilities are provided and rather than using them to our benefit, we continue with the same old practices. These skips are there for the collection of household garbage and waste. Given the threat of infestation and disease, I appeal to you not to just throw your garbage in them, but wrap your waste in old newspaper and put it in bag and then dispose of it in the skips,” she said.
Minister Falconer, who is also Chairperson for the Inter-Ministerial ‘Keep Jamaica Clean’ Committee said that with the hurricane season approaching, it is important that residents dispose of waste properly, “so that our gullies and drains can do the work that they were constructed to do, which is to carry water to the sea”.
Managing Director, JSIF, Scarlett Gillings, in her remarks, said that proper solid waste disposal and collection represent a practical step towards improving the aesthetics of communities.
“The project is an important one for the Government and the JSIF as it gives us the opportunity to fulfil our mandate to uplift the lives of our nation’s most underserved citizens,” she said.
She noted that the success of the initiative will depend on “citizens’ co-operation, as without your buy in and active participation the results will be limited”.
Director of Operations, NSWMA, Colonel Allan Douglas, in thanking JSIF, said the skips will assist the agency’s efforts to efficiently and effectively manage solid waste.
The solid waste management project seeks to improve the aesthetics of the 12 communities benefitting under the ICBSP project, while seeking to change the behaviour of the community members where garbage collection and disposal are concerned. It has various sub-components, including: equipment, training and recycling.
Under the equipment sub-component of the project, the World Bank is investing a total of $38.8 million to provide: 55 waste collection receptacles; concrete enclosures to secure the skips and to improve the aesthetics of the communities; and a garbage compactor truck will also be donated to support the NSWMA’s waste collection efforts within these communities.
By Chris Patterson, JIS Reporter