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Executive Director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Joan Gordon Webley, stating that solid waste is “big business”, has informed that the agency will be implementing projects from which it hopes to make money to meet its operating costs, while benefitting the country at the same time.
These include a waste to energy project in partnership with another entity and the recycling of tyres to help fix potholes. There is an ongoing project to sell scrap metals recovered from old cars, refrigerators and other derelicts, which mar the nation’s landscape.
“NSWMA is a business,” Mrs. Gordon Webley stated as she address a JIS ‘Think Tank’ held yesterday (May 13) at the agency’s Half-Way Tree Road office.
“A lot of people say it is a place of garbage; I say that it is a place of resources. I look at every single thing on the landfill as a resource, something that ought to be used. In most countries in the world, solid waste is big business. Why then have we allowed the NSWMA to be just a place of rubbish and not a place of resources? And why have we not used what we have on those landfills to the benefit of the organisation and of the country?” she asked.
As it relates to the work environment, the Executive Director said that efforts will be put in place to raise the morale of the staff, especially those who interact with the public.
“The National Solid Waste Management Authority is now, and will be in the future, a preferred place to work,” she said, while adding that changes have been made in the way workers within the organisation NSWMA treat each other.
In the meantime, she is urging commercial operators to dispose of waste properly, noting that some of these operators are responsible for the dumping of garbage on roadways and in gully courses.
“One of the reasons that Jamaica is so dirty is that many of our commercial clients deposit their solid waste anywhere. As a matter of fact, many of them drive with their garbage and throw it into other people’s skips. Some just drive and throw their garbage into the gullies. So let us not kid ourselves and think that the garbage is deposited in the gullies by persons of a lower income bracket; that is not so,” Mrs. Gordon Webley said.
She reminded the public that the NSWMA is the only organisation in Jamaica authorised to have dump sites, and is the only licensed entity to handle solid waste. She also warned that persons, who disposed of their garbage contrary to the Solid Waste Act, can be fined.
Section 51 of the Act also empowers the NSWMA to demand records from operators of commercial entities about who is collecting their garbage, what is being collected and when this is collected. The Authority can also demand receipts from persons who collect garbage. These receipts are submitted when they make deliveries to the official landfills. This is to ensure that garbage is disposed of correctly and not dumped along the way, Mrs. Webley pointed out.