Thwaites, Bertram and Campbell
THE DEBATE started in the House last Tuesday on the National Solid Waste Management Act 2001, which seeks to set up a central agency to carry out solid waste management functions now done by Parks and Markets.
The Solid Waste Management Au-thority will be responsible for advancing public health and safety standards in relation to solid waste as well as promoting public awareness of the importance of efficient management of solid waste. Funding for the Authority will be provided through property taxes.
Minister of Local Govern-ment and Community Develop-ment, Arnold Bertram, who piloted the Bill, said Jamaica generated one million tonnes of solid waste annually, 60 per cent of which was generated at the Riverton landfill in Kingston. He added that citizens could help in dealing with solid waste by refraining from practices such as littering.
"To a large extent it comes down to our personal discipline to clean up solid waste," he said.
This was supported by Central Kingston MP Ronald Thwaites who said that persons in his own constituency were guilty of throwing their waste into drains leading to a pile-up in garbage and consequently flooding.
"There needs to be a full-scale campaign for persons to be educated not just to fling their garbage anywhere they feel," he said.
Colin Campbell, Minister of Information, supported the Bill, saying that it was very timely. He went further to say that the Bill was significant in that it provided specific, targeted funding for the Authority through property taxes.
"I hope no future policy disturbance will cause any other approach," he said.
The debate continues tomorrow.