JIS News

Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Land and Environment, Donovan Stanberry has reiterated the government’s commitment to stem the indiscriminate disposal of used lead acid batteries.
Addressing a recent JIS ‘Think Tank’, Mr. Stanberry said that government’s commitment to address the problem would not come to an end when the six-month Used Lead Acid Battery (ULAB) project concludes in November.
Used lead acid batteries are potentially harmful to both children and the environment. The inhalation and ingestion of lead from these batteries is known to contribute to fits, poisoning and even brain damage in humans, conditions to which children are more susceptible. Mr. Stanberry admitted that the first phase of the project, which included a battery collection campaign was not as successful as anticipated.
“There are over a million batteries out there. I don’t think during a six-month period we are going to collect even one per cent of that,” he said.However, he insisted that the project was meeting its greater goal, that of saturating the public with information and raising people’s consciousness about the problem.
He said that in the long term, he hoped that the public would be more inclined to dispose of their batteries in a safe, healthy and environmentally friendly manner.
The Permanent Secretary added that setting up the depots islandwide, of which there are 25, coupled with the public education component of the project, would sensitise the public to take in their used batteries instead of dumping them.
He also noted that the public education campaign would continue with the airing of a radio jingle over the next three months. A 10-minute documentary on the issue would be aired shortly.
Mr. Stanberry pointed out that when the exercise is completed in November, all the relevant agencies would once again meet and use the experience of this campaign to devise a more sustained programme for the long term.
A multi-stakeholder committee, including several government entities and the private sector, was set up to examine the issue of disposing of used lead acid batteries.