King hoping land issues will be sorted soon to ramp up recycling push
Recycling Partners of Jamaica Chairman Dr Damien King says the entity has been surprised by citizens’ enthusiasm to embrace plastic-bottle recycling.
Speaking on Thursday as the RPJ signed a memorandum of understanding with the Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo), King said that RPJ is overwhelmed with the response.
“What we have to do is to rapidly increase our capacity to process the bottles, which means compacting and bailing them so that they can go on to the next stage of recycling,” he said. “But we also need to open more depots. We now have only six depots open and we want to have at least one depot per parish.”
Identifying land has been a struggle for the entity, coupled with the tedious bureaucratic process to get the depots open.
“We had expected to have more open by now, but we haven’t been able to get our hands on the public land that we had been promised at the beginning because this is a partnership between the Government and the private sector,” King said.
He expressed confidence, however, Matthew Samuda, the minister responsible for the environment who King said is committed, describing him as an environmentalist.
“So we expect that those promised sites for depots are actually going to be delivered and we can expand our capacity and be able to deal with more bottles and so, therefore, you’re going to see the cages being cleared more efficiently,” he added.
King said that notwithstanding any shortcomings, the link with tourism is not for the sector but for the country.
“We are doing this for ourselves, but we are in full sight of the importance of the face and the image as a country that we present to the rest of the world. We are proud of our natural beauty and we want to ensure that visitors see and can enjoy and take part in our natural beauty,” he said.
TPDCo Executive Director Wade Mars said that the partnership with RPJ is very important for the tourism industry.
“The product is Jamaica itself, so once we can have some level of sustainability then it all goes well for the long-term nature of the product,” Mars said.
“Even though this is a TPDCo effort, we want this to be an all-Jamaica effort – not just the tourism industry, but every individual person in this room and in their family [must] take responsibility of recycling and protecting the natural environment,” Mars said.