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Sections of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Act are to be reviewed and redrafted in order to make the law more effective.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, made the revelation during his presentation in the 2013/14 Sectoral Debate on Tuesday, June 11, in the House of Representatives.

He informed that the amendments are to: increase the number of persons on the authority’s board to include representatives from the Association of Local Government Authorities and the Ministry of Health; and allow the Minister, by Order, and subject to affirmative resolution of each House of Parliament, to amend the monetary penalties specified in the Act and any of the schedules of the Act.

“We will (also) be seeking to promulgate regulations dealing with: licensing and registration of waste disposal facilities and waste collectors; tipping fees to enable levying of fees for waste disposal; and public cleansing to enable summons being issued for failure to pay fines,” Mr. Arscott said.

He said that once the amendments are passed, there will be stricter standards for waste management and improved enforcement to ensure compliance.

“The polluter will pay for littering….wherever they litter commensurate with the breach. In addition, we will consider including community service, such as the cleaning of gullies and verges as penalties for this breach,” he stated.

He said that the Ministry will ensure that there is no granting of building permits, trade or amusement licenses, without plans to clean up and dispose of the waste.

“Too many commercial entities dump their waste on the road side or simply pay a handcart man to take the waste to the market or to areas where citizens dump illegally. Local government is everybody’s business and Jamaica’s beauty is our duty, so let us get involved!” Mr. Arscott said.

Contact: Latonya Linton