Over 500 volunteers showed up for the roll-out of the 'Klean Kingston' project on Wednesday in an effort to clean the streets and spread public sensitisation on proper waste disposal.
From as early as 5:30 am, a team from National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and volunteers from companies such as ROK Hotel, Bascho Limited, Kingston Creative, Jamaica Chamber of Commerce, and schools were seen with rakes, brooms and push sweepers.
According to executive director of the NSWMA Audley Gordon, several areas were covered including St Williams Grant Park, East Queen Street, Darling Street, Princess Street, and Orange Street.
"What's particularly impressive for me, is the amount of volunteers. We thought we would have struggled to get 500 volunteers but based on the numbers we have, we are well over that figure and more in the line heading to 600," said Gordon.
"We came out and did quite a bit of cleaning, I am working on the other aspect of it now which is the building of conversation with people who reside here, selling on a daily basis, business owners, and the regular taxi men. We really want them to buy into this whole concept of Klean Kingston, we want them to see the importance and appreciate that the clean environment afford them better business and better opportunities," he added.
Park manager for St Williams Grant Park Delores Williams said she is pleased with the clean-up efforts, as it helped to improve the beautification and smell of the area.
"Thank God for the freshness now because if you smell the park since the washing, a freshness is there. We just want it to continue because Jamaica can be clean and if we go to other countries we can be clean, so we can do it here. We don't need enforcement and bullies to get it done. It can be done in a proper way," she told the Jamaica Observer.
At the same time, Williams stressed that there needs to be more enforcement officers with a ticketing system to penalise unlawful citizens.
"The Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation has a set of enforcement officers but they don't have a ticket book. You might can talk to them but it's the same set of people coming back to do the same unruly thing," she said.
"We also need the areas to be cleared. Sometimes they use the bus as a convenience and go behind it and urinate. Sometimes they say it's people of unsound mind but is sensible people doing these things," she said.
Director on the board at NSWMA Camille Facey hopes that the organisation's citizen's guide will assist with changing the poor waste culture of Jamaicans.
"What we're trying to do is lead a change in the culture and this citizen's guide tells us about the different types of waste and how we are to deal with them," she said.
Klean Kingston is being undertaken in collaboration with the Kingston and St Andrew Municipal Corporation and is also a part of the NSWMA's 'Clean City' programme which was designed to target the backlog of garbage in town centres and business districts.
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