Fri | Nov 15, 2019

Gleaner Editors' Forum | Receptacles for storage of garbage to be mandatory, says NSWMA

Published:Tuesday | October 8, 2019 | 12:05 AMNadine Wilson-Harris/Staff Reporter
Gail Mitchell, legal director at the National Solid Waste Management Authority, makes a point at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum last week.
Gail Mitchell, legal director at the National Solid Waste Management Authority, makes a point at a Gleaner Editors’ Forum last week.

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has warned that regulations are being considered to make it mandatory for Jamaicans to store their garbage in receptacles.

This proposal has already been submitted to the Office of the Chief Parliamentary Counsel and legal director at the NSWMA, Gail Mitchell, noted that once passed, fines would be levied against persons in breach.

“We are in the initial stages of looking at our standards in terms of solid waste disposal and what it is that we really want to see,” she told Gleaner editors and reporters during a forum last Thursday.

The aim, Mitchell pointed out, is to get Jamaicans to adopt the habit of containerising their waste.

“If there is no containerisation, it takes us far more time to get the job done, and that affects and impacts how we treat with picking up and collecting solid waste in other communities,” she said.

NSWMA Executive Director Audley Gordon said this practice has been adopted in other jurisdictions.

“When you go elsewhere, you see proper receptacles. We want best practices here in Jamaica. We can do it and we must lead on this, and as the regulation comes, we will go to the streets, we will go into the communities and we will communicate to the people. I am sure that overall, it may be gradual, but people will buy in and we have the garbage in the proper receptacles,” he said.

Separation of waste

The NSWMA head said the separation of waste is also something they are also lobbying for and are hoping will take effect by 2024.

“If we want to move Jamaica forward to make it the place of choice for people to work, do business and raise families, there are some things, though painful and costly, which we must embrace. One of them is to get the cultural shift in our solid waste practices. The other one is to find the budget to give us separation at source,” he said.

“It will be very costly. If we are going to do separation at sources, it means that we have to have the different containers that would allow you to appropriately separate your garbage at source,” he added.

nadine.wilson@gleanerjm.com