JIS News

Story Highlights

  • Beginning April 1, a plastic separation initiative is to be launched in seven Government Ministries, as part of plans to effectively manage the nation’s solid waste.
  • The Ministries of Health; Education; Finance and Planning; National Security; Agriculture; Local Government and Justice are to participate in this project, which involves the separation of plastic containers from regular waste, for collection by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
  • Employees and visitors to these participating Government entities will be required to separate not only plastic containers, but other materials, such as Styrofoam from regular waste, as the Government works to reduce the impact of these on the environment and human health.

Beginning April 1, a plastic separation initiative is to be launched in seven Government Ministries, as part of plans to effectively manage the nation’s solid waste.

The Ministries of Health; Education; Finance and Planning; National Security; Agriculture; Local Government and Justice are to participate in this project, which involves the separation of plastic containers from regular waste, for collection by the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

Employees and  visitors to these participating Government entities will be required to separate not only plastic containers, but other materials, such as Styrofoam from regular waste, as the Government works to reduce the impact of these on the environment and human health.

Executive Director of the NSWMA, Jennifer Edwards, in making the announcement at a policy forum at the Management Institute for National Development (MIND), in St. Andrew, on March 28, said the initiative is encouraging Jamaicans to properly dispose of waste material, particularly plastic, which is not easily broken down and absorbed by the environment.

Plastic takes an average of between 450 and 500 years to start breaking down, and the NSWMA is  seeking to minimise the amount of plastic normally deposited at the country’s disposal site, through its recycling drive.

Ms. Edwards emphasized that  the NSWMA “is committed to effective and efficient collection, disposal and management of solid waste,” while promoting behavioural change through public education.

 

 

The Executive Director  said she  is  pleased  that persons have been receptive to the NSWMA’s ongoing work to reduce the generation of waste through recycling, pointing out that  6,000 pounds of plastic were collected following the authority’s successful plastic container separation pilot project in several communities across the island.

The NSWMA, she further noted, has  collaborated with the private sector in promoting the importance of recycling as part of effective waste management. This, she said, include a plastic bottle recycling initiative with a Canadian company;  and a new national recycling initiative, ‘Recycle Now Jamaica’, with seven local private companies.

The organization  has also partnered with the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) in promoting recycling through regional seminars and training. In addition, several Jamaicans have been sent to Japan and China to be trained in recycling and waste management.

Ms. Edwards stressed that all citizens should  play their part in reducing the level of waste produced by the country, noting that  each Jamaican generates approximately 1.2 kilograms or more than two pounds of waste every day.

“This means 1.6 to 1.8 million tonnes of domestic waste is generated in Jamaica annually,” she pointed out.

The forum was held under the theme: ‘Solid Waste Management: An Imperative for National Development’, in line with the country’s National Development Plan – Vision 2030 Jamaica, which seeks to position Jamaica to attain developed country status by 2030 and in the process, make it ‘the place of choice to live, work, raise families and do business.’