Household waste is priority, not cuttings — National Solid Waste Management Authority

Chairman of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), Dennis Chung, says persons should not leave more than two bags of cuttings for collection and disposal, as household waste is priority for the agency.

According to Mr Chung, during periods when trees are overgrown, households tend to have scores of bags with cuttings for disposal, and it is beyond the NSWMA’s capacity.

He said that type of waste should be used as composting, or disposed of through private arrangements.

“We just don’t have the capacity to dispose of that sort of thing, and that’s not regular garbage. We have to collect the garbage that is rotting – that is the first priority for us,” Mr Chung said at the recent handover of two compacter trucks to the agency, donated by the Jamaica Social Investment Fund (JSIF), at the Office of the Prime Minister in St. Andrew.

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The Chairman noted that on a recent collection drive, the NSWMA observed 17 bags of cuttings at a home, adding that the cuttings can be turned into compost.

He said that once a person contacts the NSWMA, personnel are available to “carry them through that process”.

Mr Chung also appealed to householders to containerize their waste. “When we have to stop and shovel up garbage, it takes at least five times more, in terms of productive time, to get the job done,” he said.

“Even with [more trucks], if we don’t have our citizens being responsible in how they containerise, in how they dispose of garbage, and if we don’t have the proper legislation in place, we will never have enough trucks to collect waste,” Mr Chung said.

The NSWMA policy requires that all solid waste generated from households must be properly containerised before storage and collection. The solid waste should not be in direct contact with the interior of the storage container or receptacle. The use of garbage bags is highly recommended.