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  • Senior Director in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Gillian Guthrie, has cited the need for a comprehensive Hazardous Waste Management Convention, to direct how countries in the Caribbean handle the importation and exportation of dangerous substances.
  • The Senior Director was addressing delegates at the Government of Jamaica/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-sponsored Caribbean Conference on Solid Waste Management, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay on October 3.
  • Meanwhile, Director of the Medical Waste Management Unit in the Ministry of Health, Navarine Hylton, also spoke to the precautionary approach Jamaica is taking with regard to its hazardous waste importation policy.

Senior Director in the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change, Gillian Guthrie, has cited the need for a comprehensive Hazardous Waste Management Convention, to direct how countries in the Caribbean handle the importation and exportation of dangerous substances.

“We also need to establish a regional clearing house …for the whole Caribbean for hazardous waste management,  with information on best practices, technologies, expertise and (a listing of) hazardous waste facilities in the region,” she  said.

“A lot of (Caribbean countries) are exporting hazardous waste and those of us who are not exporting it are dumping it, which is very bad, or storing it for indefinite periods. We need to know what exists in the region to deal with certain categories of hazardous waste (management and disposal),” Ms. Guthrie added.

The Senior Director was addressing delegates at the Government of Jamaica/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-sponsored Caribbean Conference on Solid Waste Management, at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay on October 3.

She emphasised that the region also needs assistance in building expertise in the remediation of contaminated sites, building research capability to strengthen policy and legislative framework,  and to develop a suite of economic and market-based instruments to allow for a ‘take back’ of a lot of the hazardous waste that can be re-used or recycled.

Ms. Guthrie recommended the strengthening of Jamaica’s physical infrastructure to the requisite national level for interim storage, treatment, and disposal of specific categories of hazardous waste.

Meanwhile, Director of the Medical Waste Management Unit in the Ministry of Health, Navarine Hylton, also spoke to the precautionary approach Jamaica is taking with regard to its hazardous waste importation policy.

“This  is based on the fact that our infrastructure for hazardous waste in Jamaica is not as robust… We have prohibited the importation of hazardous waste into the country,” she pointed out.

The four-day conference was held under the theme: ‘Solid Waste Management: A National Development Imperative’.

It attracted solid waste management practitioners and other stakeholders from Latin America and Caribbean countries, including Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Suriname, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago as well as representatives from the Planning Institute Of Jamaica (PIOJ), National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and several international organizations.

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