WPM to ramp up waste separation programmeThursday, April 22, 2021
BY ROCHELLE CLAYTON
MONTEGO BAY, St James — Garnet Edmondson, the regional operational manager at Western Parks and Markets (WPM) Waste Management Limited, says as of today, which is being observed as Earth Day, the agency will be ramping up its waste separation programme in St James.
The programme, dubbed For the Love of the Environment, was launched on February 14 in the Meadows of Irwin community, and has recently been expanded to the Ramble Hill, Tamarind Hill, Reading Heights, and Rhyne Park communities.
In an interview with the Jamaica Observer West on Tuesday, Edmondson explained that the WPM team is working assiduously to rid the environment of plastic bottles while creating awareness among the residents of the various communities, which will see them going into the Fairfield community and its surrounding areas today.
Earth Day is annually celebrated on April 22 to demonstrate support for the protection of the environment.
“On Thursday, for Earth Day, we will be picking up plastic bottles in the entire Fairfield community around Irwin, while having sensitisation using a town crier. We will [also] be cleaning the dump sites in the region,” said Edmondson.
He noted that while recycling might seem simple, it is very important to the preservation of the environment. The team at WPM, Edmondson noted, aims to collect some 10,000 pounds of plastic bottles monthly, by the end of 2021.
“The love for the environment movement might seem simple to some people but it is very important and one that we all must play a role in. By the end of the year we should be collecting around 10,000 pounds of plastic bottles every month. Now, if everybody comes on board and partners with [us], we can get it done,” he argued.
The WPM team, Edmondson added, is looking to further expand its reach by partnering with additional communities to create a schedule to collect plastic bottles.
“We have intentions of expanding the communities that we go to but what we say to persons, if you have your plastic bottles at home, call us, we will come and take them. What we encourage is [for] persons [to] speak to [their] citizens' association,” he said.
“What I would love to do is, every third Thursday go into the Granville community for all plastic bottles, after persons put them out; on a Friday, go into Montego Bay West Village and do the same... we have a brand-new tipper truck and we can go in the communities to pick up the bottles. The bottles are not heavy so we can throw them in the back of the truck.”
Edmondson further noted that not only are residents being targeted, but business operators and government agencies are also being encouraged to come on board as they push for more environmentally friendly practices.
“We have also approached some garages, ATL Motors Jamaica, Stewart Motors, and Toyota Jamaica. We know that they use oils that come in plastic bottles and eventually, no matter how much they dispose of them, they are going to end up at our landfill and we do not want that. So, we have written to them to ask them to join us in putting a special holding area, whether a drum or skip, to hold those plastic bottles and we will collect them,” he said.
“We are going to even target the police stations as well, they too can recycle their plastic bottles and we pick them up. I also spoke to the councillors in Montego Bay, Westmoreland, Trelawny and Hanover to join in partnership with us, creating the day-to-day language of their constituents to encourage them to remove the plastic from their regular waste.”
“I am suspecting right now if we can get 500 pounds of plastic bottles out of one community, and another 1,000 pounds out of all the garages in and around Montego Bay, that will bring us to our target of 10,000 pounds of plastic bottles per month.”
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