Hidden cameras to identify litterbugs in western Jamaica


Hidden cameras to identify litterbugs in western Jamaica

Observer writer

Saturday, January 18, 2020

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LUCEA, Hanover — The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) says it will be using hidden cameras across sections of western Jamaica to expose litterbugs, as it continues to grapple with illegal dumping.

Garnet Edmondson, regional operations manager for Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited, the regional arm of the NSWMA, told the recent monthly meeting of the Hanover Municipal Corporation that the initiative will be implemented under a larger anti-litter enforcement programme.

According to Edmondson the enforcement programme has been dubbed Stamping out Littering and Illegal Dumping (SOLID).

“There are some areas that we are presently testing some of those hidden cameras now that we are going to use it to expose people,” said Edmondson.

He later told the Jamaica Observer that the cameras were installed three weeks ago in “certain locations where people dump without any form of regard within the parish of St James”, one of the four parishes that the WPM covers.

The other parishes that the WPM has oversight for are Trelawny, Hanover and Westmoreland.

Edmondson stressed that the programme is aimed at putting a stop to illegal dumping.

“Too often, persons believe that they can just dump a whole bed, a whole refrigerator and a whole mattress just any place,” argued Anderson.

He said images from the cameras are now being analysed to determine the dumping pattern of persons committing the breach.

The waste agency executive noted that while dragging offenders before the court forms part of the process, the entity is ensuring that members of the public are warned and educated first.

“Before we can go out and say that we [are] going to prosecute, we have to gather data,” said Edmondson.

“We want to educate persons to let them know that they can call us. We also want to educate them that we will have special days when we will take out these bulky waste. When a tipper truck will be coming in your community,” added Edmondson.

The SOLID programme is one of several that will be undertaken across western Jamaica by WPM during the year, in an effort to ensure the proper disposal of waste.

Among them is the 'My Waste My Responsibility Programme', in which the WPM will be taking the message of proper packaging and disposal of waste to schools, churches and clubs.

Edmondson said the entity will also be meeting with taxi associations and forging partnerships with companies, aimed at having garbage bags placed in taxis.

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