JIS News

As part of Labour Day 2005 activities on May 23, members of the public are being urged to take in their used lead acid batteries to designated temporary depots island wide.
The appeal comes in light of the impending June launch of a National Used Lead Acid Battery Project by the Ministry of Land and Environment in collaboration with several private and public sector entities.
Spanning a period of six months, the project aims to minimise the threat posed to public health and the environment from the improper disposal of used lead acid batteries. This will involve the island wide collection and subsequent export of the items for recycling.
In terms of funding, the project will be assisted by participating government entities such as the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), National Environment and Planning Agency (NEPA), the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Transport and Works and Jamaica Customs.
Additional assistance will come from private sector entities, which are primarily representatives of the lead acid battery sector. These include Tropical Battery Company Limited, Automotive Power Company Limited, Performance Distributors Limited, Industrial Metal and Salvage Limited, and Container Inspection Services Limited.
Addressing the weekly JIS Think Tank, Gillian Guthrie, Director of Projects and Enforcement in the Ministry of Land and Environment remarked that the campaign stemmed from the need to clean up the environment and to protect Jamaicans from the adverse health effects that can result from the improper disposal of the batteries.
She said the project presented the opportunity for persons that have batteries in their backyard and elsewhere to dispose of them properly.
“We will be encouraging persons to use this opportunity to get those batteries out and have them dealt with in an environmentally sound manner,” she said. “This means that batteries from the communities will be collected and then taken to the designated packaging depots where they will be sorted, packaged and prepared for export,” she explained, noting that export destinations were Israel and Trinidad and Tobago.
The types of batteries that will be collected on Labour Day and thereafter will include lead acid batteries used in automobiles, cell phone towers and in uninterrupted power supplies (UPS).
Thirty-six sites have been identified over the island, which will serve as temporary collection depots from June to August. After August, the public will be advised to take their batteries to specific locations, which will be announced later. However, for Labour Day over 20 sites have been confirmed.
For the parishes of St. Catherine and Kingston and St. Andrew, the drop off points are Automax Service Centre, Caribrake, KACS Auto Sales and Service, AutoMax Esso, Jones Battery Company Limited, JamPet, Automotive Power Company Limited and Tropical Battery on Arlington Road.
Persons may drop off batteries at Desi Whittingham & Sons in St. James, Lynford Service Limited in St. Ann, and Petcom in Portland.
The drop off points in St. Thomas are Automax Service Centre, D&D Tyres, Daley’s Auto and Michael Kenny’s Esso, Shagoury Block Factory, Roger’s Esso, Superior Car Care and Santa’s Battery & Sales in Clarendon.
After Labour Day, the private sector entities involved in the project will be going around to collect the batteries, after which they will be taken to the designated packaging depots where they will be prepared for export.
The project will also have a public education component, which is expected to commence in June and is funded by the board of the National Resources Conservation Authority.
The campaign will employ a multimedia approach, which will see messages disseminated through the print and electronic media, in addition to the development of brochures and posters. Community meetings will also be held to sensitize persons about the project and to seek their cooperation.
Persons seeking additional information, especially about the collection depots for Labour Day and beyond, are invited to call 754-5949, a hotline number hosted by the National Solid Waste Management Authority.
At the end of the project in November, it is expected that the Ministry will explore the option of establishing a sustainable system to deal with used lead acid batteries.

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