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Story Highlights

  • The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is reporting that more than 3,500 pounds of plastic have been collected under its plastic separation pilot project.
  • The plastic, once collected, is taken to Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited for compression and recycling.
  • Plastic bottles removed from household waste can be taken to any of the Recycling Partners of Jamaica’s drop-off locations islandwide.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is reporting that more than 3,500 pounds of plastic have been collected under its plastic separation pilot project.

The collection of plastic waste from 12 St. Andrew communities began on January 27 but was temporarily discontinued as the authority responded to the coronavirus (COVID-19).

“In consideration of the health and safety of staff and residents, we took a break. We stopped collection on the 20th of March and we resumed on the 31st. However, since the start of the project we have collected over 3,500 pounds of plastic from the communities,” NSWMA’s Public Relations Specialist, Kimberley Blair, told JIS News.

The plastic, once collected, is taken to Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited for compression and recycling.

Ms. Blair said that the plastic waste collected would have otherwise ended up in the waste stream or at the Riverton disposal site where it could act as fuel for fires.

She noted that the plastic containers are collected in oxo-biodegradable bags, which were given to participating householders during sensitisation sessions.

“What we found out during the [collection] break is that persons were still collecting bottles, so we told them to hold on to those, and persons who said they did not have any space to keep the bottles, we told them to drop off here at the authority,” Ms. Blair said.

Since the scheduled plastic bottle collections began under the project, the NSWMA has been able to complete the collection of household garbage in some of the communities in one visit.

National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Customer Service Assistant, Ricardo Blake (left), sensitises a St. Andrew resident about the Authority’s plastic separation initiative. The NSWMA has collected more than 3,500 pounds of plastic waste from 12 St. Andrew communities under the pilot project, which began in January.

 

“Usually, when the plastics are not separated the compacter [truck] wouldn’t be able to complete a full collection in some communities as the truck would be full from early. We are now able to complete a collection in some of the larger areas like Hope Pastures, where the truck would normally have to go to Riverton and come back,” Ms. Blair said.

She is encouraging householders in communities that are not a part of the pilot project to start practising plastic separation at home.

“We know that separation is a challenge for some, but we find that more and more people are doing it because we are encouraging them. Small changes in habits have a long-term impact and contribute to the health of the environment,” she noted.

Plastic bottles removed from household waste can be taken to any of the Recycling Partners of Jamaica’s drop-off locations islandwide.

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