Staff of the NSWMA/Western Parks and Markets (WMP) Waste Management Limited, remove plastic waste along the roadway in Irwin, St. James, during a community clean-up and sensitisation exercise on Thursday, April 22, in observation of Earth Day 2021. (Okoye Henry Photo)

The plastic bottle separation pilot project has been enjoying success since its launch in St. James earlier this year, says Community Relations Officer at the NSWMA/Western Parks and Markets (WMP) Waste Management Limited, Sharnon Williams.


The initiative was launched on February 12, in the Meadows of Irwin community, with the aim of reducing polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles deposited at the Retirement disposal site in the parish.


Additionally, the project promotes the separation of plastic bottles from organic waste.


Speaking following a community clean-up and sensitisation exercise in St. James on Thursday, April 22, Ms. Williams noted that there has been a steady increase in the separation and pickup of plastics among the households in the Meadows of Irwin area since the launch.


She pointed out that word has spread to other communities that are now interested to be included in the project.
“A lot of communities, even all the way to Maroon Town, they have been calling us, because they want to be on board,” Ms. Williams indicated.


She pointed out that other communities such as Ramble Hill and Rhyne Park are also interested in being a part of the initiative.
“A lot of persons, they are buying in and it has the team excited. I think they are seeing the importance of getting rid of the plastics,” said Ms. Williams.

“The plastic is toxic, especially when it goes to the Retirement disposal site. In the event of say spontaneous combustion, when it burns, it is toxic for us. So, once we don’t have them there, we don’t have persons inhaling anything toxic, should there be a fire,” she added.


RECYCLING PARTNERS
Ms. Williams explained that the plastic bottles that are collected by the garbage units are taken to Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited.


“We bring them to Recycling Partners of Jamaica. They are located right here in Greenwood, St. James,” she said.

She pointed out that June 6, will be observed as National Solid Waste Day and the idea is to partner with Recycling Partners of Jamaica to find areas in the towns of St. James and Trelawny to set up holding areas for people to come in and deposit their plastics.


The community clean-up and sensitisation exercise were carried out in the Irwin, Retirement and Gutters communities by teams from the Administrative and Public Health Departments of the WPM.