Barrier technology being used to prevent gully garbage from entering Kingston Harbour
The Ocean Cleanup's Interceptor Tender inspects the Interceptor Barrier at the mouth of the Barnes Gully in the Kingston Harbour. Debris will be removed from the Interceptor Barriers installed at the mouths of the Kingston Pen Gully, Barnes Gully and Rae Town Gully by the Interceptor Tender - a small, powered barge that will collect the trash. (Photo: Contributed)

Since February the Kingston Harbour Cleanup pilot project has been using barrier technology to trap and prevent garbage from the Kingston Pen, Barnes and Rae Town gullies – three of the 11 most polluting gullies in the Corporate Area – entering the harbour.

The GraceKennedy Foundation (GKF), which provides administrative and project management support for the project, made the disclosure in a document, details of which were obtained by OBSERVER ONLINE.

According to GKF, between February and October, the pilot project used the barrier technology and nine beach cleanups to prevent over 200,000 kg of garbage from entering the Kingston Harbour.

The organisations involved in the Kingston Harbour Cleanup project are Ocean Cleanup, a Dutch non-profit environmental organization, Clean Harbours Jamaica (CHJ) and the GKF.

Ocean Cleanup is the NGO providing funding, expertise, and technology for the project. The local company CHO are the operators of the Interceptor technology that is responsible for the maintenance of the barriers and the management of the Offloading Site.

Restoration of the Kingston Harbour has been a long standing focus of the GraceKennedy Group. GFK is also coordinating cleanups and providing stakeholder outreach for the project.

Under Interceptor Solution, one of the two main components of the project, interceptor barriers fitted at the mouth of the gullies are used to trap debris.

Ocean Cleanup's small barge, named "Interceptor Tender", are then used to transport the debris trapped by the barriers to an offloading site for sorting and disposal.

The GKF said that Recycling Partners of Jamaica has been collecting the salvageable plastic waste, while non-plastic waste is taken to a National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA)-authorised disposal site.

GFK said that the scaling up of the project to include the trapping of garbage from the other eight most polluting Corporate Area gullies is also being explored.

The Government agencies that have been instrumental in assisting the project include the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation (KSAMC), the Port Authority of Jamaica, Port Authority of Jamaica, the National Environment Planning AGency (NEPA) and the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).

Claudienne Edwards

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