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The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is rolling out a number of initiatives, as part of the restructuring of the agency aimed at enhancing operational efficiency and increasing its earning capacity.
This includes the innovative utilisation of the Riverton landfill in Kingston, which has been described as a source of ‘big business’ by Executive Director of the NSWMA, Joan Gordon Webley.
“The landfill has gotten new energy, in that the Director of Landfill, Dr. Stanhope, has now started a major compost heap at the landfill, so the very compost will be used in the gardening that the NSWMA does and, hopefully, we will be able to sell in the near future,” says Mrs. Gordon Webley.
She adds that a wood-chipping machine is to be acquired and placed at the landfill, where it will be used to cut and dye chips that will be used in the agency’s gardening programme.
Meanwhile, the Parks and Gardens division has joined with the Tourist Product Development Company( TPDCo) on a beautification initiative, the Spruce-Up Jamaica programme, to beautify the country’s resort areas.
The project, now in its second phase has been intensified. It is aimed at providing extensive beautification work in the parishes of St. James, Westmoreland, Trelawny, St. Ann, Portland, St. Catherine and Kingston.
Activities include: cutting and bushing of verges; planting and pruning of trees; planting of flowers; maintenance of round-a-bouts; and painting of curb walls.
Executive Director of TPDCo, Earl Patrick, says the NSWMA has been “very effective” at what they are doing with their expertise, and that TPDCo is pleased with the collaboration.
At the signing for the project last year, Mrs.Webley endorsed the partnership.
“It was a privilege to be asked to help in the manicuring of Jamaica for Jamaicans and, by extension, our visitors,” she said.
“This is a ripple effect for us as, while we are out there collecting the solid waste, we are also able to manicure the lawns of Jamaica,” she added.
Specific areas to be maintained and beautify include: Sunset Boulevard, Queen’s Drive, Alice Eldemire Drive, Sangster International Airport, Greenwood, Barrett Town, and Rose Hall, in St. James; Norman Manley Boulevard, West End Road and Non Pariel Road, in Negril; Glistening Waters, Water Square, Salt Marsh Road, Duke Street and Wakefield Road- Water Square, in Trelawny; Milford Road, Runaway Bay and Discovery Bay, in St. Ann; Port Antonio, Foreshore Road-Folly, Neville Antonio Park, and Harbour Street, in Portland; and the Palisadoes Strip, Michael Manley Boulevard, Constant Spring Road-Six Miles, Marcus Garvey Drive, South Camp Road and Knutsford Boulevard, in Kingston.
The Parks and Gardens division will soon be taking on private projects that involve cleaning, cutting, pruning, and general beautification.
“We joined with the HEART Trust, and they have taken on 50 of our persons who are being taught all the areas of gardening: how to cut, how to prune, how to do composting, how to build your garden bed, how to do simple architecture, right there on the ground,” Mrs. Gordon Webley revealed.
The framework for a nursery at Heroes Park is to be established, using plants that are indigenous to Jamaica and collected from across the island. The Parks and Gardens division will be self-sustaining and independent of Government subvention.
Scrap metal collection is another lucrative area on which the NSWMA is capitalizing, as the agency seeks to ramp up its earnings through all possible avenues.
“We make sure that we take up all the old trucks, the old fridges, the old stoves, the old cars, all the derelicts. We pick them up, so that they do not harbour water and, by extension, mosquitoes, and we are selling those to persons in the trade,” she said.
“In other words, we have not gone into the business, but whatever we have to clear up, we are going to sell that to make a little extra money for the landfill,” she explained.
The NSWMA, which now falls under the Office of the Prime Minister, collects some 730,000 tonnes of the average 900,000 tonnes of household waste that the country generates annually.

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