JIS News

With over a million tonnes of solid waste being generated annually, Jamaica is a good prospect for the implementation of waste-to-energy technology, which is part of a proposed plan to privatise solid waste management services.

This is according to a Waste Characterisation Study conducted by a consortium of French and Jamaican consultants between July 2021 and March 2022.

According to Ricardo Munroe, Manager in the Public-Private Partnerships and Privatisation Division at the Development Bank of Jamaica (DBJ), which is overseeing the reform of the country’s waste management programme, the study was one of several items on a list of requirements to be completed before the privatisation process could be finalized.

“Completion of the study means that Jamaica is now one step closer to realising its plans to privatise waste management services,” Mr. Munroe said. “The aim is to move away from open dumps to a more environmentally friendly method of disposing of our solid waste. Waste from households and businesses could soon be converted into energy or stored in sanitary landfills. And, as the findings show, there is enough waste being generated by Jamaicans to sustainably be converted into energy.”

The Waste Characterisation Study utilised advanced laboratory tests with samples prepared at the Mona campus of the University of the West Indies and sent to France for analysis of chemical composition and heat value measurement.

It is the first local study to assess variations in waste generation by season, by conducting three separate campaigns, one for each season:
• Moderately wet period (30th July to 19th August 2021)
• Wet period (27th September to 22nd October 2021); and
• Dry period (7th February to 4th March 2022)

“The data from the study shows that approximately 1.5 million tonnes of residential and commercial waste are generated annually in Jamaica and there is no significant variation in the volume of waste across the seasons examined,” said Mr. Munroe.

The study was commissioned by the Solid Waste Management Enterprise Team in June 2021 and is part of the due diligence process for the proposed Integrated Solid Waste Management Public-Private Partnership (PPP) Project. The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSMWA) provided logistical support, technical input, and equipment to facilitate the consultants’ work.

The Enterprise Team, appointed by Cabinet, is comprised of private and public sector experts who oversee the development of the Waste Management PPP project. Its Chairman, Lyttleton Shirley, believes that the study has presented credible data not only to finalize important aspects of the Business Case but also to provide to interested investors to facilitate their planning for a bidding process which is expected to take place later this year.

“Yet there’s still much to do,” he said. “The Enterprise Team, the DBJ, and our consultants have been conducting comprehensive due diligence exercises to prepare the Business Case for the project. We’re also doing a siting study, public-private partnership (PPP) transaction structuring (to determine the terms of the PPP investment opportunity that will be presented to the market), the Riverton disposal site closure plan, and post-PPP Institutional Strengthening for the NSWMA.”

When all the due diligence studies are completed, the Business Case will be finalized and submitted to Cabinet for approval.

Anthony Shaw, the DBJ’s Managing Director, hailed the support provided by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) which funded the study and other areas of due diligence process on the project.

“The DBJ welcomes and appreciates the significant support provided by the IDB, our long-standing partners in the PPP Programme,” he said. “This assistance has been integral in advancing the due diligence process and supporting the transaction. The study is a huge step in the development of the project and we look forward to its successful and timely conclusion.”

The findings of the study are now available on the websites of the DBJ and the NSWMA.

In the coming weeks, Seureca, the lead consultant, and the DBJ will host a forum with interested local and international investors to get feedback on the proposed transaction structure.

It is anticipated that the Transaction Phase of the project will be launched in the third quarter of Financial Year 2022/23.


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