JIS News

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  • Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says effective solid waste management is critical in growing the economies of the Caribbean region and ensuring that citizens can enjoy a good quality of life.
  • The Minister was speaking at Tuesday’s (Sept. 30) opening ceremony of the Caribbean Conference on Solid Waste Management at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay.
  • The Local Government Minister also cited the need for more public/private partnerships in finding solutions to solid waste challenges, noting that waste management is “big business” if administered properly.

Minister of Local Government and Community Development, Hon. Noel Arscott, says effective solid waste management is critical in growing the economies of the Caribbean region and ensuring that citizens can enjoy a good quality of life.

“The reality is that our collective efforts as Caribbean policy makers to grow and develop our economies, is as contingent on effective solid waste management as it is on job creation or even crime reduction,” he stated.

The Minister was speaking at Tuesday’s (Sept. 30) opening ceremony of the Caribbean Conference on Solid Waste Management at the Hilton Rose Hall Resort in Montego Bay.

He noted that the implications of inadequate solid waste management, in terms of the outbreak of diseases, and threats to citizens, visitors and the environment, demands that more time and effort be devoted towards effective solutions.

“The Government of Jamaica is working with its key partners, locally and internationally to address this issue,” he stated, noting the Government’s consistent engagement with the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) in this regard.

The Local Government Minister also cited the need for more public/private partnerships in finding solutions to solid waste challenges, noting that waste management is “big business” if administered properly.

Director General, Planning Institute of Jamaica, Colin Bullock, in his presentation, pointed to the need for an adjustment in the fee structure to sustain the cost of solid waste management.

He described Jamaica’s fees and tariff structure as “under-developed”, with a relatively low compliance rate “and therefore incapable for financing the sector”.

“This relatively low compliance rate, along with low average annual payments, cannot sustain the cost of waste management along with the other services expected of local government authorities,” he argued.

Stating that effective waste management requires buy-in from society, Mr. Bullock said that making Jamaica “a place of choice” requires “raising the national consciousness concerning our corporate and personal responsibilities to rethink, reduce, reuse, recycle, retrofit and recondition.”

He also urged private investment in waste management, noting that in the face of escalating energy and raw material cost, waste represents an attractive untapped resource, the processing of which has the potential to yield profitable business opportunities.

The three-day Government of Jamaica (GOJ)/Inter-American Development Bank (IDB)-sponsored conference was held under the theme: ‘Solid Waste Management: A National Development Imperative’.

In attendance were representatives from Latin America and Caribbean countries, inclusive of Argentina, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Colombia, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Suriname, St. Lucia, St. Vincent, Trinidad and Tobago, and Samoa, along with representatives from several international organizations.