Wanted: better approach to garbage disposal
Despite last year's rigorous public education campaign in Montego Bay, which was designed to get residents to treat waste disposal seriously, it would appear that the effort did not generate the desired effect.
Hugh Shim, executive director of the Montego Bay Marine Park Trust, told The Gleaner that although the popular 'Nuh Dutty Up MoBay' initiative, which was launched in tandem with Jamaica Environment Trust a year ago, has yielded some results, it is still not enough.
"People are still just throwing away their garbage in the gullies and not really properly disposing of their waste," said Shim, who noted that the garbage thrown in the gullies ultimately reaches and pollutes the coast. "You just need to drive past any bus or taxi stand and roadway to see what is happening.
"I think they don't care," said Shim, speaking of the irresponsible behaviour of some residents. "They hear the message, but it doesn't mean anything to them. That is why we have to keep hammering the message to them and try change the culture, because it really is a culture."
Shim thinks if those same offenders go to other countries they will alter their behaviour, because they know that what they are doing in those places is wrong and it will not be tolerated.
"When these same people go to America, England or Canada, they will never throw garbage on the ground. They keep it in their pockets or car until they see a garbage pan. So how we don't do that here?" he asked.
Shim suggested offering incentives to persons for recycling their plastics to encourage compliance.
"I think if people got a little incentive from not throwing away their plastic or certain other things, it would help in reducing the amount of plastic in the environment," he said.