The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is calling on Jamaicans to help protect sanitation workers and achieve a cleaner environment by playing their part in proper waste management.
Community Relations Manager at the NSWMA, Kimberley Blair, is asking that persons be mindful of how they dispose of their waste, as the Authority has noticed that bins are filling up faster, with persons spending more time at home.
“It is important for us to be mindful of the solid waste that we generate, personally. Your waste is your responsibility until the truck is able to come by for collection. So, what we encourage householders to do is to properly secure their garbage – whether it’s a drum, mesh receptacle, skip or whatever you may call it – properly secure it. Keep it away from dogs and other animals,” she told JIS News.
“For meat, we encourage persons to keep it frozen until collection day and so you won’t have any odour and you won’t have it decomposing in your bin,” Ms. Blair added.
She is also reminding householders that garden waste and bulky waste must be separated from household waste as they impact the capacity of compactor trucks, meant for household waste collection.
“For metal and other heavy objects, we ask that you do not put it with your household waste because this cannot be broken down by our compactor. It cannot hold and we do not have anywhere to put it. You can make special arrangement for this. Call our office at 876-448-3220 and we will put you through to the respective personnel who will help you to arrange your bulky waste collection,” Ms. Blair said.
“Garden waste is garbage that we have to use our discretion in collecting. What is on our website is that we collect two bags of garden waste per household per collection day. When we collect more than two bags per household it fills up the truck and then we can’t collect your regular domestic waste,” she added.
Persons are also reminded that garden waste and some household waste can be used to make compost to add nutrients to backyard gardens and plants.
The NSWMA is also calling on persons to be particularly mindful of how they dispose of contaminated waste during the current health pandemic, especially for the safety of sanitation workers.
“It is important that people who benefit from our services help to care for and protect our employees, so we urge residents to discard garbage in a way that minimises the risk to our employees. They provide a vital service to keep our communities clean during this time. Our sanitation workers are often taken for granted but they have become a part of the front-line workforce keeping the country going as the pandemic persists,” Ms. Blair said.
“Persons with COVID-19 or who are caring for persons with COVID-19, we ask you to properly dispose of the used gloves, the masks, the sanitising wipes. Put them in a bag and put them in another bag. Do not put them in your recycling bin or throw them on the street. You can place those items in securely tied bags. We ask you to double bag and secure that bag,” urged Ms. Blair.