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  • Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is to streamline its waste-management system by December this year.
  • “I’m hoping that before the year is out, we will start on a programme of having a total transformation on how we collect and manage waste in Jamaica,” he said.
  • Citing the devastation caused by the recent flood rains, which was exacerbated by blocked drains, the Prime Minister stressed that effectively managing the country’s waste is pivotal to the prevention of such disasters and protecting the environment.

Prime Minister, the Most Hon. Andrew Holness, says the Government is to streamline its waste-management system by December this year.

“I’m hoping that before the year is out, we will start on a programme of having a total transformation on how we collect and manage waste in Jamaica,” he said.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the LASCO Releaf Environmental Awareness Programme (REAP) awards ceremony at The Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston on June 7.

Mr. Holness said he also expects that the consultant, who is reviewing Jamaica’s waste-management options, will submit a report on the findings soon, which should further guide the Government on the way forward.

The Administration is also being guided by an enterprise team that was commissioned last year to examine waste disposal in Jamaica, in a bid to improve its collection and management. The team is also tasked with managing the Government’s proposed waste-to-energy programme.

Citing the devastation caused by the recent flood rains, which was exacerbated by blocked drains, the Prime Minister stressed that effectively managing the country’s waste is pivotal to the prevention of such disasters and protecting the environment.

He again implored Jamaicans to be more responsible in the disposal of garbage, in order to safeguard the environment.

“We must take greater care and responsibility for how we treat our environment… Our actions have a direct impact on our environment. It also has a direct impact on our safety and security, especially when it comes to servere weather events,” he said.

In the meantime, Mr. Holness praised LASCO REAP for promoting environmental awareness among children, which, he said, adds to the national thrust.

He noted that programmes involving separation of garbage, social responsibility and environmental awareness are already being carried out in schools.

“In order for Jamaica to experience sustainable growth, we must embed the right mindset in our children for protecting our environment for future generations,” he said.
REAP, which began in 2012, aims to increase children’s participation in environmentally friendly activities by engaging primary-level schools across the island in a multipronged environmental competition.

This year, 124 schools competed for prizes in various categories, including Art/Fashion, Energy Conservation/Innovation, Best Essay, Recycling, Most Bottles Collected, Best National garden, and Most Trees Planted.

The Fort George Primary and Infant School in St. Ann was the overall winner of the competition. The school was awarded 10 computers and a round trip for two to the United States or Canada for teachers.