Seeing the mounds of solid waste along the trenches, roadsides and in sewage embankments leaves an odorous stench on the mind’s eye. Publically, there are not enough disposal and recycling units per square mile, encouraging littering in surplus. In developing countires newborn, teenaged or middle-aged, urban area streets have been adequately equipped with waste collection material for efficient grouping and separation afterward, so as to avoid clogged drains, filthy streets and unemployed people. Sparse rural area districts would not necessarily constitue a necessity for major waste collection service density, however it is not that the establishment of such should not exist. Rather, it is my view that rural and urban areas should be appropriately outfitted with the required disposal and recycling facilities to combat the mass littering which threatens to rival the crime problem. Jamaicans are already indisciplined stewards of solid waste, hence, implementing suitable measure authorises enforcement and prosecution for any breach regarding garbage disposal and recycling.
The recent Riverton Dump crisis which led to several sackings and health complications due to exposure to inflamed chemical compounds in the uprising smoke remains a lesson unlearned. Upon cruising the streets of Kingston and St. Andrew, at only a glance, one can realise there are combined acres of unused space. The community of Seaview Gardens has been established around the outskirts of the dump, and although residents have developed a certain acclimatisation to the health risks, continued lifetime exposure guarantees health complications upon maturity. Canadian scientists discovered cancerous agents in the smoke and forecasted a high possibility percentage for anyone exposed to the fumes. With the unused land, facilities may be established to efficiently haul and separate different types of solid waste in enclosed areas and recycle where applicable. Often, the world’s 7th largest harbour is polluted with the waste which in itself has repercussions on the shoreline and all life-forms above and below sea-level.
The island’s two major cities are the main central disposal ares and the solid waste is forked through by scavengers while being compressed into tonnes and burned. Instead of mass collection, the same mass can be achieved if summed in smaller amounts simultaneously, islandwide. With the land available, utilise the resources of the water around us to transport the waste to recycling plants and/or incineration houses. If not, relocate the dumps, minimize both into quadrants around each parish to serve it’s nearest town population. The enegry of the Sun will help. I believe the dumps have to be moved or the people at risk do. No one built housing schemes there for them, yet they have nowhere else to go but to the ‘wasteland.’ Our beautiful coasts have been right-hooked and jabbed subsequent to the mass littering, thus defacing Jamaica’s tourism product. Annual coastal cleanups by open-eyed volunteers will never be enough. The problem is internal. There are natives who want to recycle but nothing is in place for it’s efficiency and fruition. Recycling practices and clean streets don’t have a puffy tail, buck teeth or long ears, they won’t just emerge from a top hat. I certainly applaud the efforts of the ‘Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica’ campaign. Still, “Yuh cyaa expec dem fi suddenly stop dutty up Jamaica!”
Written and Copyright by Javaughn O. Smith @ApplythePeppa 2013.