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LETTER OF THE DAY - Time for Ja to invest in recycling

Published:Friday | November 21, 2014 | 12:00 AM


There are some householders I know who would like to engage in recycling, but the facilities for doing so are few and far between. I often wonder why more entrepreneurs do not venture into the recycling business, as there is great need for it in Jamaica. Think what a big difference it would make to the solid waste management programme if recycling was widely employed in Jamaica. The drawback seems to be the high cost of electricity to shred the material and of transportation to collect it. Has anyone thought of using solar power?

From what I understand, plastic containers, glass bottles, old newspapers, other paper products and aluminium containers, can all be recycled by shredding and exporting the material abroad, and this would mean a source of earning much-needed foreign exchange.

It would be many a year before the material could be collected in Jamaica on a house-to-house basis, as is the practice in developed countries like the United Kingdom and USA. However, if recycling facilities were established in or on the outskirts of the capital, or another big town in each parish (with more than one set in the Corporate Area, Montego Bay and St Catherine), facilities would be made available to everyone in Jamaica.

There would be need for collection facilities to be set up across the parishes - in districts, commercial areas and housing estates, where people should be instructed to deposit their material for recycling in containers clearly labelled for the type of material to be deposited. Then there should be a regular schedule for collection and transportation to recycling plants.

Enforce Anti-Litter Law

Meanwhile, the new commissioner of police should be encouraged to put into effect the apparently forgotten anti-litter law. Anyone found littering the streets, sidewalks or gullies with plastic bottles, paper, fast-food containers, or any other type of garbage, should be charged and fined.

The fines should not be made impossible to pay - just large enough to teach them a lesson, and should be paid promptly at the tax offices, as is the case with traffic fines. Failure to pay should be followed up and, if necessary, be taken to the Petty Sessions Court for further action.

The collection and disposal of garbage in Jamaica needs to be treated as a matter of high priority, regardless of cost.


Kingston 6