MANDEVILLE, Manchester — Executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) Audley Gordon is hopeful that instilling cleanliness in the minds of children will result in reduced pollution and increased respect for sanitation workers.
"Some of we bruk bad already and it is hard to break a tree when it is too big, but you can help children to get back into this culture of cleanliness where we happily clean our surrounding," he said on Tuesday at a solid waste march and mini expo in Mandeville.
Scores of students from school in Manchester and St Elizabeth were among people who marched along the streets of Mandeville promoting the proper disposal of garbage targeting commuters.
"I believe that we have to start with the children if we are going to see that cleaner Jamaica that we all want because there are a number of us who are so stuck in our ways now; that it is going to take an awful lot to break us and to get us to do better," he said.
"You [students] would have made a mark. You would have said to Jamaica that the next generation is not going to put up with the nastiness…We will push the message to stop littering," added Gordon.
He expressed disgust at the disregard of commuters who litter roads.
"[When] you travel around Jamaica you would see at the side of the streets things tossed around, clearly with no regard for the environment [and] the aesthetics of our beautiful country. People do this stupidly even believing that they are doing a favour to people who need work. I heard a man say 'when we dutty up the place, people get paid to clean it up'. Now what rubbish. We want to cease and desist that practice," said Gordon.
"If you are in a car, van, bus or truck keep it [garbage] there until you reach somewhere it can be disposed of in a responsible manner," he added.
He said the country's beauty has to be a collective responsibility and that the NSWMA is observing World Environment Week.
"This is a national effort and a lot of resources have gone into it. All of the community relations managers are actively organising events. We will culminate with a 10-K walk where we will have all our staff members out on a Saturday walking in various parts of Jamaica to push this message and to bring awareness to this travel waste debacle that we are facing," said Gordon.