JIS News

Minister of State in the Office of the Prime Minister with responsibility for Local Government Reform, Robert Montague, has said that the Government is moving towards converting waste to energy, in an effort to reduce the nation’s energy bill.
Making his contribution to the 2008/09 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, yesterday (June 24), Mr. Montague noted that the Government is working in conjunction with the Petroleum Corporation of Jamaica (PCJ) and the Office of Utilities Regulation (OUR) to form a stakeholders committee, adding that the OUR has since issued a request for proposals.
“We are going to utilize our garbage, but we have to ensure that we have enough solid waste to keep the plant going,” he said, pointing out that the idea of paying people for their solid waste, especially along gullies, is being explored.
The State Minister argued that the Government currently pays for garbage as gullies and drains have to be cleaned, adding that if they are not cleaned, the plastics and other non-biodegradable waste go to the sea and damage reefs as well as block drains, which results in flooding. “We cannot afford this. So it is cheaper to pay up front,” he said.
Additionally, Mr. Montague informed that negotiations have almost been completed with a private investor who is interested in using feedstock for a proposed bio-diesel plant. “He is expected to spend approximately US$160 million for this investment in the St. Andrew area,” he said.
“Government will not be putting up one cent to this or any other waste-to-energy plant,” the State Minister declared.
He encouraged Jamaicans to take the cleaning and beautification of the country seriously. “As a nation we need to litter less, not clean more, bearing in mind the slogan, ‘Jamaica’s beauty is our duty’,” Mr. Montague said.

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