SPM launches Clean Sweep campaign in schools
Regional operations manager for the Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Waste Management, Edward Muir, (right) and principal of May Pen High and Preparatory School Dr Winston Preddie (left) pose with students for a photo with three waste disposal drums on Tuesday. (Photo: SPM)

MAY PEN, Clarendon — Students in south-central parishes are being encouraged to properly containerise and separate their garbage with the Southern Parks and Markets (SPM) Waste Management increasing solid waste disposal awareness campaign.

Edward Muir, regional manager at SPM — responsible for clearing solid waste in Manchester, Clarendon and St Elizabeth, said a new campaign was launched on Tuesday targeting schools.

“We started with the Clean Sweep school tour, which is an initiative where we are using this medium to go across the schools in this region to educate children on the importance of proper containerisation,” he said.

“We expect students to use this initiative to bring it back into the communities, their churches and homes, so that it can help us to spread the message. Now we know that [there is] a challenge as it relates to the collection of garbage. The reason for that is the lack of units, so what we are doing now is that if we can educate people to properly containerise their garbage, this can alleviate some of what is happening on the ground,” he added.

Muir is encouraging the public to separate items that can be used for recycling like bottles from other solid waste and use proper waste containers.

“What is happening is that when the garbage is not properly containerised, it takes a longer time for the crew to complete their schedule on a daily basis. So we intend to continue with this programme. We started in Clarendon, we are moving to Manchester next and then St Elizabeth,” he said.

SPM on Tuesday distributed three different colour drums to the May Pen High and Preparatory School.

“One drum is for loose garbage, one is for plastic separation and one is for the banana and peeling skin from the kitchen,” Muir explained.

“We try to separate the garbage as much as possible so that the drum with the plastic bottles — the recycling company is already on alert, so they will move through the schools to collect the bottles,” he added.

“What will happen is that when we go to the schools to collect the garbage, we will have less waste to collect,” said Muir.

School Principal Dr Winston Preddie said the institution of 370 students had been practising recycling from before.

“We had been collecting the bottles for years and they were doing recycling and they came here and collected the bottles. The garbage truck comes otherwise to pick up the regular garbage and we have a number of drums [for that],” he said.

“… But the plastic bottles are the one that [causes] the most trouble, because afterwards the truck stopped coming here to pick up the bottles and we were left with hundreds of bottles and nowhere to dispose them. Now they are coming back to restart the recycling process and I am very glad to be a part of that,” he added.

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