JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, is calling on Jamaicans to play their part in proper waste management.
  • “We communicate to the public when we have challenges and we advise them of how they can help us in the difficult times. One such advice is for them to properly containerise their solid waste. Containerisation is the duty of the community,” he told JIS News in an interview.
  • Mr. Gordon is also encouraging persons to adopt the mantra: ‘My waste, my responsibility’, as the agency works towards a cultural shift.

Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Audley Gordon, is calling on Jamaicans to play their part in proper waste management.

We communicate to the public when we have challenges and we advise them of how they can help us in the difficult times. One such advice is for them to properly containerise their solid waste. Containerisation is the duty of the community,” he told JIS News in an interview.

Mr. Gordon is also encouraging persons to adopt the mantra: ‘My waste, my responsibility’, as the agency works towards a cultural shift.

The containerisation of garbage, he said, will not only alleviate the problem of garbage in waterways and the nuisance of odour and flies caused by unpackaged garbage, but it will also greatly reduce the time the NSWMA spends gathering garbage that is not properly containerised.

We are literally on our knees asking for cooperation in that regard. Please put your garbage in proper containers. Package it properly so that we can just come and take it up and move, so we can get to the next gate, to the next community, to the next district. For example, if you have properly containerised garbage at each gate in a district, we would not spend more than a minute. We would just take it up and move,” he argued.

Acknowledging that there has been a garbage collection issue in the parishes serviced by Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Ltd., because of damaged units, Mr. Gordon said the matter is being addressed as the trucks are being repaired and approval has been given for supplemental trucks to be engaged.

Although bulky waste is not collected as frequently as household garbage, there is a schedule for its collection that is published by the NSWMA and shared with the assistance of the municipal corporations. Bulky waste should be put out for collection as they can become a breeding ground for rodents and vectors.

I don’t think there is one Jamaican who does not know of the health risk when water settles in their backyard in any container. Messages have gone forth through the Ministry of Health, municipal corporations and NSWMA. We’ve been through chik-v, we’ve been through zik-v, we’ve been through dengue and the same message goes out. I believe we are well aware of the danger, but we have not made that connection, so we are careless in how we respond,” Mr. Gordon said.

The Executive Director said the cleaning of community and public parks and spaces should not be viewed as the sole responsibility of the Government.

Volunteerism and cleaning up your community is civic pride that is to be embraced and encouraged and preached and practised. Don’t throw things in the bushes and through your car windows or in the parks. We must see Jamaica’s beauty as our collective duty,” he said.