SUITCASES, toilet seats, a waterbed, handbags, disposable diapers, plastic bags and bottles.
These were just some of the debris which employees of China Harbour Engineering Company (CHEC) Jamaica pulled out of the Kingston Harbour on Saturday, June 2, a day before the start of National Environment Awareness Week, observed between June 3 and 9.
So overwhelming was the find on that first day that CHEC, the Chinese company responsible for reconstructing and raising the flood-prone Palisadoes road, had to extend its clean-up to three days.
"We saw a lot of plastic bottles — some had trapped liquids — Pampers, toilet seats, suitcases, scandal bags, handbags, shoes, a fridge door, a waterbed. You name it, it was there," CHEC spokesperson Jennifer Armond told Our Habitat last week.
"It's a lot of garbage there and (the Palisadoes Roadway) is the entrance to the city (from the Norman Manley International Airport)," she added.
Armond, in giving the reason behind the company's effort, said the more they raise the road, the more garbage they see.
Their concerns were so great, the employees pooled their resources and volunteered their time to rid the Harbour of the pollutants that endanger the various species of flora and fauna that live there. But it was more than they could handle in one day.
"It proved to be a harder task than we had anticipated, so we created a budget and got some other people on board," said Armond.
Approximately 35 local and Chinese CHEC employees, along with 15 other individuals, were involved in the clean-up, which netted over 100 large garbage bags of debris.
— Ainsworth Morris