Sat | Jul 21, 2018

Nuh Dutty Up Ja needs firmer gov't support - JET

Published:Tuesday | March 20, 2018 | 12:00 AMBrian Walker/Staff Reporter

The lack of an improved solid waste management framework locally has hampered the effectiveness of anti-litter social marketing campaign, Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica, according to Suzanne Stanley, chief executive officer of the Jamaica Environment Trust.

"The success of the campaign continues to be limited by the slow response of the relevant government agencies to improve solid-waste infrastructure, institutions and regulations and the lack of enforcement of anti-litter/anti-dumping laws," said Stanley. She added, "The type of systematic changes needed to solve Jamaica's solid-waste problems cannot be solved by education only."

A preliminary evaluation conducted in September 2015, with a sample size of 400 respondents, showed that while 89 per cent of Jamaicans were able to recall an element of the campaign, 44 per cent said they were thinking differently and 33 per cent were behaving differently in relation to garbage disposal.

Stanley added that the campaign is still young and it will take time to move a larger number of Jamaicans into action. "The campaign has simply not been around long enough at a sustained level to change behaviours and attitudes towards garbage (disposal) which are deeply entrenched in the Jamaican culture and psyche," noted Stanley "although we do feel that we have managed to get Jamaicans talking much more about the issue than ever before."

Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority, admitted that more garbage receptacles are needed across the island, but defended the body. He explained, "We have been collecting to the best (that) we can, with the resources we have. There's hardly a day when we don't have in excess of 100 trucks on the road."

Environmentalist Peter Espeut said the real problem is not the number of bins that are available. He charged, "It seems to me that, no matter how many bins you have, if people don't have the frame of mind that says 'I will hold my garbage until I find a bin', they will just drop it anywhere."