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Jamaicans logging on to e-wasted disposal project

Published:Wednesday | June 24, 2015 | 12:00 AMChristopher Serju

Half-way through the six-month pilot Chemical E-Waste Project, being conducted by the Ministry of Water, Land, Environment and Climate Change in seven St Catherine and St Andrew communities, indications are that Jamaicans are supporting the initiative to dispose of old and outdated electronic devices - most of which are no longer being used - in a responsible way.

"It's encouraging, but we want more participation," Shauna Guthrie, community relations manager with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), the implementing agency, told The Gleaner


'Save the Environment, Dispose of E-Waste the Right Way' is the slogan for the campaign launched in March, which facilitates the collection of old mobile phones, printers, computer monitors, laptops, keyboards, mouse, chargers and cable, as well as other electronic accessories. Since then, on the last Sunday of each month, a tipper truck goes through the communities of Duhaney Park, Patrick City and Harbour View in St Andrew, with workmen collecting such items from residents, at their gates. The same thing has been happening in the St Catherine communities of Hellshire, Angels 1, Angels 2 and Angel Grove.

For persons not living in these areas, but who have electronic items they want to get rid off, there are three drop off points - the NSWMA office at 61 Half-Way Tree Road, the Dermason Plaza at Independence City, Portmore, and at King Street in Spanish Town, St Catherine, beside the fire station.

erase information

The next collection drive will take place next Sunday and Guthrie is encouraging participants to delete personal information from the equipment before discarding it, warning that the NSWMA does erase all such data, as a matter of course.

With the pilot project set for completion in September, it is anticipated that by then, residents in the seven communities will have developed a greater appreciation for waste separation, which is expected to be introduced to Jamaica as part of the long-term strategy for land-fill operations going forward.

Data from the project will be used to inform a draft document by the NSWMA, which will be submitted to the relevant ministers, and form part of the legislation to address the safe collection, transportation and disposal of electronic waste.