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Story Highlights

  • The NSWMA has started a six- month pilot project to collect specific categories of electronic waste (E-Waste) from six communities in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine.
  • The six communities are Duhaney Park, Patrick City and Harbour View in St. Andrew, and Hellshire, Angels 1, 2 and Angels Grove in St. Catherine.
  • During the pilot the NSWMA will collect the E-Waste sorted by residents once per month on the last Sunday of each month.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has started a six- month pilot project to collect specific categories of electronic waste (E-Waste) from six communities in Kingston, St. Andrew and St. Catherine.

The six communities are Duhaney Park, Patrick City and Harbour View in St. Andrew, and Hellshire, Angels 1, 2 and Angels Grove in St. Catherine.

During the pilot the NSWMA will collect the E-Waste sorted by residents once per month on the last Sunday of each month. Residents are asked to ensure that the waste is separated from other household wastes.

Electronic Waste to be collected include CPUs, mobile phones, printers, monitors, laptops, keyboards, mouse chargers and cables.

Speaking at a JIS ‘Think Tank’, on March 24, Executive Director of the NSWMA, Jennifer Edwards, said the project is in collaboration with the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change and forms part of a wider project looking at chemical waste management in Jamaica.

“With the rapid growth of electronics and increasing consumer spending on electronic items, we believe it is important that we establish some policies, some procedures and regulations that will guide the storage and disposal of e-waste,” Ms. Edwards said.

She noted that the information collected from the pilot project will allow the NSWMA to develop a database and guide the agency’s thrust to develop an “end-of-life” policy for electronic waste.

Meanwhile, persons outside of the six communities involved in the pilot project can drop off their e-waste at collection stations located at the NSWMA head office, 61A Half-Way Tree Road in Kingston, Dermason Plaza, Independence City in Portmore and King Street in Spanish Town (next to the Fire station).

Ms. Edwards further explained that the NSWMA is planning to either seek a permit or partner with a private sector company or a Non-Government organization (NGO) to export the items collected.

She said the waste will be properly stored in a secured area and individual’s data will be removed if not done before.

“We ask people to clean their systems first, but just to make sure we will have a magnet passing over them to make sure that any residual information that is on the system is completely removed before it’s disposed of,” Ms. Edwards explained.

She said the authority will not consider compensating residents for the waste at this time as the focus of the pilot is to gather data that will assist in drafting regulations for manufacturers, producers, importers and users of electronic items on proper disposal of these items.

“We want to ensure that the issue of electronic waste disposal is treated with the seriousness that we believe it should be treated with. It’s not something that we want at the disposal site and it is certainly not something we want in our water system at any time,” the Executive Director said.

In the meantime, Ms. Edwards said the NSWMA team has been visiting the six communities to sensitize residents about the pilot project and will use electronic media to aid in the public education of the E-Waste pilot project.