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Gov't contemplates increased anti-litter fines

Saturday, April 27, 2013 | 6:57 PM    

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KINGSTON, Jamaica – Local government minister Noel Arscott says that regulations under Jamaica’s anti-litter law, governing the proper disposal of solid waste, are currently being reviewed with a view to strengthening the penalties for breaches.

According to Arscott an increase in the attendant fines is being considered as part of efforts to discourage improper disposal and enforce conformity with the law.

Addressing Friday’s (April 26) launch of phase two of the National Solid Waste Management Authority’s (NSWMA) Plastic Separation Pilot Project for Manchester at the Ingleside Wellness and Recreation Centre, Arscott described existing fines as “minimal”, compared to higher penalties which he said are imposed in other countries enforcing stipulated regulations, resulting in compliance by the populace.

"We are not enforcing our laws (sufficiently). The fines are minuscule…$2,000 (for each breach committed). But nevertheless, if we were enforcing it, as (small) as it is, it would have made a difference," he said, noting that the NSWMA is revisiting the issue of enforcement.

Arscott however added that despite the challenges Jamaica’s waste management programme, in general, has improved. He was nonetheless quick to point out that the country still has a long way to go to being in par with other nations having good track records in this area.

The Minister said that private sector input is being lobbied to assist in developing waste management systems that will complement the government’s efforts and urged stakeholders to submit proposals.

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