Alessandro Boyd, Gleaner Writer
Jamaica took a new step towards preserving the nation for future generations yesterday with the grand opening of Jamaica Recycles at the company's Spanish Town Road, Kingston, grounds.
Jamaica Recycles will operate as a collection and packaging centre for waste material, such as plastic and paper, which it will export for recycling.
"We hope that as our business begins to grow and prosper that we will be able to help educate both individuals and businesses on the economic and environmental advantages of recycling, and take what this humble staff has here at 164 Spanish Town Road and expand that to provide service throughout the entire island of Jamaica to a variety of businesses and individual people," said Dennis Soriano, president of Jamaica Recycles.
Minister of Local Government and Community Development Noel Arscott, who was present for the opening, praised Jamaica Recycles on its venture.
"It is not only welcomed as a timely response to our nation's need to expand our recycling efforts, but is also a means to generate income and employment for many Jamaicans," Arscott said.
"Many of us know that plastic takes many generations to disintegrate which, in many cases, is several hundred years. We, therefore, must begin to entrench the culture of recycle, reuse and reduce."
He added: "We generate 1,200 tonnes of waste per day in the Corporate Area, which is a significant amount, and we know that 40 per cent of this is recyclable. This presents a tremendous opportunity for us here in Jamaica."
Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller also emphasised that more people should indulge in recycling as it is a part of their culture.
CULTURE OF RECYCLING
"Many of us grew up to parents who were struggling financially and were exposed to recycling at an early age. Items such as discarded tyres were used to make flower beds, so recycling is, therefore, a part of our culture and I believe Jamaica Recycles will take us to a higher level," Simpson Miller said.
"They (Jamaica Recycle) will be employing people from surrounding communities to collect waste bottles to sell to the plant and I am very pleased that people are already fully engaged in this activity. The concept of transforming waste into a productive activity is one that I fully embrace and endorse," she added.