Feature
Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Linley Reynolds, addresses a recent JIS Think Tank.
Photo: Adrian Walker

Story Highlights

  • The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is encouraging Jamaicans to adopt a culture of composting.
  • Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Using the compost is an economical and environmentally friendly way of fertilising and protecting plants and gardens.
  • “The whole aspect of recycling, reuse, reduce is the strategy we would like our fellow Jamaicans to embrace. We would like you to take on board composting in a very real way,” Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NSWMA, Linley Reynolds, tells JIS News.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is encouraging Jamaicans to adopt a culture of composting.

Composting is nature’s process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Using the compost is an economical and environmentally friendly way of fertilising and protecting plants and gardens.

“The whole aspect of recycling, reuse, reduce is the strategy we would like our fellow Jamaicans to embrace. We would like you to take on board composting in a very real way,” Deputy Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NSWMA, Linley Reynolds, tells JIS News.

“You have your orange peel, banana peel, yam skin, potato skin, all of these things are biodegradable, so they break down. Composting is really digging a hole, putting these things in it, covering it up, give it a little time and it breaks down,” he adds.

Items that can be composted include vegetable peelings, fruit waste, manure, sawdust, shredded newspaper, leaves and grass cuttings. Conversely, bones, oil and grease, dairy products and meat are not for composting.

Combining compostable material with soil, air and water help to introduce micro-organisms necessary for decomposition. It is recommended that the compost be turned (with a shovel fortnightly) to help the process along.

“It’s very easy, it takes a few minutes. Just dig the hole outside in the backyard and bury it or you can put it in a bin as well where it breaks own. There are various ways of doing it. You can go back for a few weeks or months after and utilise that as fertiliser for your kitchen garden or your rose garden,” Mr. Reynolds explains.

The compost is beneficial as a fertiliser as its nutrients are not washed away by rainfall. It also helps to retain soil moisture.

Additionally, keeping organic material out of landfills reduces the production of methane gas. Methane is a more harmful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide and is created when organic matter decomposes without oxygen.

Meanwhile, Executive Director at the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, says if Jamaicans compost organic waste, fewer trucks and other resources would be needed to collect and dispose of garbage.

Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, addresses a recent JIS Think Tank.

 

“Not all of us have backyards; not all of us have space to do that. Yes, there are bins that we have designed, and also some that we intend to import, but we want to get the buy-in because when you get the buy-in from the public there are innovative ways to do composting. Even a little keg can be used,” Mr. Gordon adds.

The NSWMA focused on composting household waste for National Solid Waste Day on June 6. The objective was to foster a culture of composting in Jamaica, in order to reduce the amount of waste generated for disposal.

For more information, persons may contact the NSWMA at 876-960-4511.