Jamaican NSWMA Spends $1.9 Billion To Collect Garbage

Jamaica – The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) collected 1,014,000 tonnes of waste in the last fiscal year, at a cost of nearly $1.9 billion.

This was stated by Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Hon. Desmond McKenzie, while making his contribution to the 2021/22 Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives, on May 18.

He noted, too, that the Agency, in a bid to promote clean public spaces, developed a mobile application (app) to report littering in public spaces and illegal dumping.

To this end, he said the NSWMA was able to conclude 71 per cent of its investigations into illegal dumpsites identified across the island. He added that the public has been responding positively to the app, with more than 110 notifications and images submitted regarding illegal dumpsites.

Mr. McKenzie informed that the mobile app has also allowed the NSWMA to establish an aggressive 24- to 48-hour response time to notifications received about delayed garbage collection and littering.

“As a result of ongoing sensitisation about proper containment of waste, commercial compliance is at 86 per cent and residential compliance is at a high of 94 per cent,” he disclosed.

He further noted that important work was also done to remove plastic waste from the environment.

He said through the Rae Town Plastic Minimisation Project, funded by the Japanese Government under the United Nations Environment Programme, nearly 17,000 pounds of plastic were collected.

“A total of 16 Environmental Wardens were also trained in plastic separation, plastic recycling and community sensitisation about solid waste disposal,” he said.

He informed that another plastic waste collection project – the St. Andrew Northern and Eastern Belt Initiative – yielded more than 82,000 pounds of plastic.

Mr. McKenzie said the NSWMA continues to demonstrate sound management, by earning its own revenues amounting to nearly $440 million over the last fiscal year.

He congratulated the NSWMA, and urged the public to do its part to make communities and public spaces consistently clean.

“The National Solid Waste Management Authority continues to perform impressively, and I want to specially recognise the Agency’s workers for carrying their service to a higher level since COVID-19,” the Minister said.

“The Agency continues to be an outstanding example of what can be achieved with major investment from Central Government, bold and innovative leadership and a dedicated workforce,” he noted, adding that the Agency has been recognised as a leader in sound public-sector corporate governance.