Sun | Nov 18, 2018

Earth Today | Jamaicans encouraged to join recycling action

Published:Thursday | June 7, 2018 | 12:00 AMPetre Williams-Raynor/ Contributing editor
Shelly-Ann Dunkley
Lucille Brodber (second from left), chair of Recycling Partners of Jamaica, with members of the TankWeld Recycle Challenge team and others at the recent launch of the Challenge.

WITH another three days to go to the end of National Environmental Awareness Week (EAW), Jamaicans have the chance to get in on the recycling action being spearheaded by Wisynco Eco.

Wisynco Eco, the corporate social responsibility arm of the Wisynco Group, announced via social media last week that it would observe a week of recycling as part of this year's celebration of EAW, which runs through to June 9.

"We wanted to continue to increase awareness around recycling in Jamaica. This being National Environmental Awareness Week, what better way to celebrate it than to make recycling more accessible to others, as well as letting others know there are recycling facilities and companies they can call to assist them with recycling," said Shelly-Ann Dunkley, communication officer with Wisynco.

Observed under the theme 'Let's Start a Recycle Revolution', Wisynco has partnered with more than a dozen retailers, setting up collection points at their locations islandwide - including the city centres of Kingston, Montego Bay, Portmore, May Pen, and inside the town of Junction in St Elizabeth.

It is also in keeping with the recently launched Corporate Recycling Challenge involving six local companies, among them The Gleaner, as well as Nissan new-car dealers Fidelity Motors; Chad-Ad Distributors Limited, suppliers of name-brand motor vehicle tyres, batteries and lubricants; construction firm Tank-Weld; Chilitos JaMexican restaurant; and radio station ZIP FM.




There is, as yet, no concrete indication of the progress towards the goal to collect 200,000 bottles by the week's end, but Dunkley said their efforts are continuing and interest is growing.

"We do not have the total numbers as yet ... . A rough estimate would be about 10,000 bottles so far," she said.

"Monday and Tuesday, we only executed in two stores - Lee's Food Fair (Red Hills) and General Foods (Liguanea). Over the two days, we collected more than 30 large garbage bags of plastics. People are interested and excited about the opportunity to properly dispose of the plastics. We have received comments from persons saying they've been waiting for us to come back, that they are happy we are doing this, and that it is easy for them to drop off their bottle at the supermarket, and more favourable comments," Dunkley added.

At the end of the week, the communication officer, who said the intention is to have the event as part of the annual calendar, indicated that they want Jamaicans knowledgeable about recycling and helping to influence others to recycle.

"Firstly, there are recycling depots islandwide; get your plastics bagged and go drop them off. Find a school near you and drop them off. You can find a listing of depots on our website Secondly, the mismanagement of our waste is a national problem; it's everyone's problem, as we are all impacted. Solutions are needed and recycling is one such solution to a larger problem. Cultural and behavioural changes are required to help us get over this hurdle," she said.