The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has been successful in removing tonnes of plastic waste from communities under separation and recycling initiatives.
“These are plastics that, if not properly managed, could have ended up in our waste stream,” said Executive Director of the NSWMA, Audley Gordon.
He was addressing a recent digital town hall organised by the Ministry of Local Government and Community Development to highlight the achievements of agencies under the Ministry.
Mr. Gordon informed that approximately 120 tonnes of recyclable material was collected under the ‘Waste Reduction through Waste Separation, Waste Diversion and Recycling Project.’
The $7.5-million project was undertaken in partnership with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) between 2016 and 2017.
It involved approximately 2,000 households from Rollington Town in Kingston; and Caribbean Estates and Caymanas Country Club in St. Catherine.
“We also won the JICA President’s Award [for the project] during this time,” Mr. Gordon said.
In addition, he noted that 21,000 pounds (approximately 9.5 tonnes) of plastic bottles have been collected under the agency’s ongoing Plastic Separation Project.
A total of 16 communities in Kingston and St. Andrew are involved in the initiative, which began on January 27, 2020.
There was a pause in collection in March due to the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Just over 3,500 pounds (approximately 1.6 tonnes) were collected up to the resumption in April.
Sixteen communities in Kingston and St. Andrew are participating in the project. They are Hope Pastures, Barbican/Liguanea, Mona Heights, Havendale, Cherry Gardens/Jack’s Hill, Long Mountain, Norbrook/Waterworks, Dillsbury, Millsborough, Lower Shortwood, Beverly Hills, and Belgrade/Smokey Vale.
Mr. Gordon reported that there is also ongoing collection from Government entities, namely the Ministry of Education. Youth and Education (Caenwood Centre); Social Development Commission (SDC); Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation; Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade; Ministry of Industry, Commerce, Agriculture and Fisheries; Ministry of Science, Energy and Technology; Ministry of Local Government and Community Development; Jamaica Information Service (JIS); NSWMA; and, until recently, the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF).
The NSWMA head is encouraging Jamaicans to be “civic-minded” in keeping public spaces clean in an effort to help the Authority maintain clean, healthy spaces.