Mon | Jan 18, 2021

MoBay mayor decries parish’s litter problem

Published:Monday | January 13, 2020 | 12:37 AMChristopher Thomas/Gleaner Writer


Montego Bay Mayor Homer Davis is appealing to residents of St James to exercise greater responsibility with their garbage disposal, including motorists whose habit of throwing garbage out of their cars contributes to the parish’s litter problem.

Davis made the appeal in his mayoral announcement while addressing last Thursday’s monthly meeting of the St James Municipal Corporation, following a report from the Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited on solid waste management in Montego Bay during the Christmas period.

“Let us adopt a new attitude of how we dispose of our garbage, and let us try to containerise our garbage. When you see the removal of the shrubs along the roadway, it’s a shame to see the amount of plastic bottles, styrofoam boxes and other garbage that’re thrown along these corridors,” said the clearly distressed Davis.

“I would encourage each public passenger driver to have a bag in their vehicle so the public can use those bags to put their garbage in, and when they reach their destination they can deposit it in a garbage receptacle, instead of having the passengers throw them outside on the roadway,” Davis added.

The mayor’s suggestion was previously attempted by the Tourism Enhancement Fund in 2011, when the entity distributed 5,000 litter bags to ground transport operators in the tourism sector and members of Montego Bay’s local route taxi association as part of a local anti-litter campaign. That initiative was sponsored at a cost of $500,000.

Checks with the St James Health Department revealed that during 2019, some 250 notices were issued for persons to attend court for breaches of the Public Health Nuisance Regulations, including littering, for which the fine is $1 million. Since the start of this year, approximately 20 notices have been served in the parish.

Meanwhile, Mark Jones, the public cleansing manager for WPM Waste Management Limited, said his organisation aims to increase public awareness of personal responsibility for solid waste management.

“We’ve seen an increased appreciation for our ‘My Waste, My Responsibility’ programme over the past few months, but we can only be successful in our fight to eradicate poor solid waste practices if we’re able to get persons to accept responsibility for the primary phase of solid waste disposal,” said Jones.