Sun | Jan 21, 2018

Letter of the day: Let's stop wasting waste

Published:Thursday | April 7, 2016 | 11:03 PM


At a recent meeting the prime minister made mention of plans to separate non and degradable waste at the source. Good idea, however, I do hope the Government realises that the true source is in the homes, the schools, the industries, and even the business places. Half of which are not properly educated on the different types of waste, the importance of separation, and how to separate them. Proper education is key, as well as making the resources accessible and affordable for people of all working classes. You cannot expect people to sort waste when recycling bags are not readily available, and there are no different waste bins in major towns and other communities centralised areas across the island.

Riverton City Dump is a disgrace to our country in this modern age. Jamaica cannot move forward with this type of activity present in the society. I, too, like the divestment idea of Riverton Dump into a modern waste management entity. There is no doubt in the high calorific content of Jamaica's waste, which supports the use of thermal waste treatment technologies. However, it is best to ensure that the country has first effective source sorting and collection systems for a continuous supply of waste suitable for use as fuel. Improper sorting and collection of waste will lead to problems downstream in the waste incineration process.

Sustainable Waste Management is not a Jamaica Labour Party or People's Nation Party business. It's for all 'P'. This is will require discipline from Government, Opposition and the rest of the Jamaican population. "Reduce, reuse and recycle", the three main Rs of effective waste management that needs to be a core practice in this country. The introduction of fair and effective waste quotas, and a polluter pay system for private and public companies should also be considered. It must be made clear that environmental pollution will not be tolerated by no one or entity, whether it be private or government.

If we want investors to come we have to begin to create the environment in which they can safely and comfortably do business, show them that this is not just talk, show them that Jamaica is serious about adhering to the very same international environmental laws they have to follow.

To all Jamaicans, government and citizens: Let's get serious, let's stop wasting waste.

D. Gooden

Process Engineer (Waste treatment)