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Story Highlights

  • The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is appealing to residents, particularly those in urban centres, to properly dispose of garbage generated during the Christmas season.
  • Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Technical Director at the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, is urging persons to package their garbage properly so it can be easily taken up by the work crew.
  • Mr. Gordon also pointed out that cardboard boxes, packaging cartons, paper and other packaging material left strewn around can easily become a fire hazard.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is appealing to residents, particularly those in urban centres, to properly dispose of garbage generated during the Christmas season.

Speaking in an interview with JIS News, Technical Director at the NSWMA, Audley Gordon, is urging persons to package their garbage properly so it can be easily taken up by the work crew.

“We want to encourage residents to be responsible in the disposal of their garbage. We also want them to appreciate that the [collection] truck might not come when you expect it but it will come. So we want to keep it that dogs won’t destroy the package and scatter the garbage and create an unsightly scene,” he said.

Mr. Gordon noted that while Christmas was a time of family gatherings and other such festivities, there was a social responsibility that everyone should adhere to.

“We still have to be responsible. We may be coming from a party or at the market, we cannot just throw away our garbage once we’re through with it. Not because it’s Christmas and we’re having a good time, we still have to be responsible and properly containerise them so it can be removed in an orderly manner,” he noted.

Mr. Gordon also pointed out that cardboard boxes, packaging cartons, paper and other packaging material left strewn around can easily become a fire hazard.

Addressing the matter of commercially generated garbage, the Technical Director said establishments must make arrangements with a contractor to have the waste disposed of properly.

“It protects the aesthetic value of the business. Nobody wants to have a business place with garbage lying around the floors, the entrance or the open spaces, as it harbours flies, rodents and other hazards. To remove the garbage and to remove it safely and responsibly helps business,” he told JIS News.

Meanwhile, Director of Environmental Management and Conservation at the National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), Anthony McKenzie, agreed that it was important for solid waste to be properly disposed of.

He said improperly disposed garbage can inadvertently enter the marine environment and cause irreparable damage.

“Yes, it’s critical that we do and that’s the message we want to send to our communities that they properly package and dispose of solid waste for disposal,” he told JIS News.

Mr. McKenzie also recommended that holiday shoppers use less packaging material where possible for gifts.

“We can actually use less packaging so that we end up disposing of less waste. So it’s really about reducing or consuming less …and use as a guide the three R’s… reduce, reuse and recycle,” he stated

Mr. McKenzie also noted that sorting through solid waste was an excellent way of ensuring that garbage is ‘properly’ disposed of.

“We can separate our [glass] bottles, plastic bottles, certain types of paper, food skins and waste and other disposables. That’s an opportunity we want to extend to Jamaicans to participate in that effort,” he noted.

Disposing of domestic solid waste through the proper channels leads to a cleaner environment, and reduces the unnecessary spend by the government to keep waterways and gullies clean.

Persons wanting more information about garbage collection, frequency of collection, contract haulage, and types of garbage collected or any other matter concerning the NSWMA can call toll free 1-888-253-2652 or 926-8559.