LINSTEAD, St Catherine — Executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Audley Gordon has declared that foreign investors will not be spared as the agency intensifies its effort to curb the “wanton littering” that has been taking place across the island.
He noted that one particular ethnic group is a major contributor to the improper disposal of commercial waste.
“We have noticed right across Jamaica that that particular ethnic group is setting up businesses in every little nook and cranny of Jamaica, and we have to get them to comply; they have to play their part [in keeping the island clean],” Gordon said, but did not specify the group to which he was referring.
He also argued that although Jamaica welcomes foreign direct investment, investors should be mindful of local laws, including those regarding the disposal of solid waste.
“We don't have a difficulty with businesses coming in. It creates employment; it adds to what we are trying to do in terms of the gross domestic arrangements, but we have to do it the right way, and we gonna do it in a way that don't dutty up Jamaica,” Gordon added during an interview with the Jamaica Observer.
The NSWMA boss also implored Jamaicans to take personal responsibility in ensuring that their solid waste is discarded properly.
“The truth is [that] no matter the amount of trucks we get, if people don't properly containerise their garbage, we will have a problem. If they toss the garbage all over the place, we will have a problem. So yes, there is need for more trucks, but there is also need for better containerisation; there is also need for less wanton littering,” Gordon added.
He suggested that an increase in the fines for littering may be a deterrent.
“Jamaica nuh clean like New York [partly] because Jamaica has to work within a fine structure that is laughable. When yuh fine a man for littering [in Jamaica] him laugh after yuh because the fine is nothing,” the NSWMA boss said during a public education blitz and tour of Linstead, St Catherine, on Wednesday.
The tour, which also involved councillor for the Linstead Division Herbert Garriques, was aimed at devising solutions for solid waste management issues in the Linstead area.
Similar tours have been conducted in Old Harbour, Spanish Town and Portmore — all in St Catherine. Gordon said his team will head to St Thomas next week.
“We are all over trying to communicate and build out relationships as we try to manage the solid waste. But wi need trucks and wi need the people of course to better manage their garbage [and] take some personal responsibility,” Gordon added.