NSWMA awarded by Japanese agency for waste reduction
The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) was presented on Monday with the Japan International Cooperation Agency's (JICA) 13th Laureate President's Award for its participation in an international waste reduction-through-waste separation project.
The NSWMA's project was selected along with nine others from six organisations from various countries worldwide.
As part of the project, residents of Caymanas Country Club Estates (St Catherine), Caribbean Estates (St Catherine) and Rollington Town (St Andrew) were encouraged to separate recyclable materials, mainly cardboard, plastic bottles and cans.
An NSWMA delegation was also sent to Japan for training, and, upon returning home, the project was implemented.
The items were then picked up in their separated form by the NSWMA, and at the end of a six-month period, 140 tons of recyclable items were collected, which reduced significantly the amount of waste picked up by garbage trucks in these communities and stemmed garbage overflow as well.
JICA's Resident Representative Kenji Tobita told The Gleaner after the award presentation that waste separation and recycling are done all over Japan, and if Jamaica was serious, it could begin putting recyclable waste to good use, like incorporating plastic with cement in building processes.
He also announced that plans are afoot to implement a similar project in 33 other local communities.
"I understand that reducing the amount of waste from the Riverton dump is very important for Jamaica. In this sense, the project is significant at the community level. It is not an easy project because people can dispose of anything together as one.
"There are several ways to use recyclables. Cardboard in Japan is changed into toilet paper in the factories and, I think it is possible in Jamaica, too," Tobita told The Gleaner.
The president of JICA is Shinichi Kitaoka.