NSWMA ramps up education campaign in western Jamaica

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THE National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has heightened its garbage disposal public education campaign in western Jamaica, in the wake of the ban on single-use plastic material.

The ban on the importation, manufacturing and distribution of expanded polystyrene products (Styrofoam), plastic bags (24” x 24” or less in size), and plastic drinking straws came into effect on January 1, 2019.

Customer relations officer at Western Parks and Market Waste Management Limited, Sharnon Williams, said the NSWMA has been visiting schools and community groups to educate individuals on how to manage their refuse under the ban.

She pointed out that the agency has been utilising social media to enlighten people on how to containerise household solid waste, adding that “we continue to support [the National Environment and Planning Agency] NEPA in sensitising persons on the ban”.

Williams was addressing a Montego Bay Chamber of Commerce and Industry meeting on Friday.

She urged commercial entities which still have the banned material to arrange with the NSWMA for disposal.

“We encourage commercial entities… to contact us… if by the end of January they have plastic bags to dispose of. We can make arrangements to collect and dispose of them,” she advised.

Meanwhile, Williams outlined waste management plans being embarked on by the NSWMA in western Jamaica, in a bid to further improve the entity’s waste management capabilities in 2019, and strengthen support for the ban.

“We want to revise our collection schedule to minimise complaints [by] introducing a solid waste separation programme… [and] will be encouraging separation at source for residents. We will also be introducing night shifts in St James as well as eradicating some [illegal] dumping areas,” she further informed.

Areas targeted for the illegal dump site eradication include the ‘Elegant Corridor’, Lilliput, Mount Salem, Barnett Street, and Harbour Street in St James.

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