Between 60 and 70 per cent of the waste that is taken to disposal sites can be used to compost, says Audley Gordon, executive director of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA).
“There is no better soil nutrient than compost. [It] produces better yield and it’s good clean nourishment that the plants get,” he said, highlighting that there are several benefits to be derived from composting.
Gordon was speaking at the recent Compost Expo, held at NSWMA’s head office in Kingston.
Composting is a natural process that occurs when organic matter, such as vegetable peelings, fruit waste, leaves, hedges, and grass cuttings decompose and form a dark substance. The dark substance, called compost, is then used as a fertiliser for the soil.
“If we were able to get that converted back at source to soil nutrients to use in the flower garden, your kitchen garden [and] farms, we wouldn’t have so much big trucks rolling through your community [and] polluting the atmosphere with carbon monoxide,” he said.
Gordon also noted, that if more people practiced composting, less acreage would be needed for disposal sites, as less solid waste would be collected.
“Composting is a win-win, and we really want to see it flourish in Jamaica. We want to see more people coming to the party [and] getting into composting,” he encouraged.
Other benefits include a reduction in the water bill, as soil mixed with compost retains water better; no need to buy chemical fertiliser, as compost is free, and a reduction in the civic costs for waste collection.
Gordon emphasised the need for better solid waste management practices in Jamaica, noting that composting is a big component of the reuse, reduce, recycle message being pushed by the NSWMA.
He encouraged citizens to reach out to the NSWMA for guidance on how to compost, as the team is prepared to go in and have the necessary conversations.
Gordon noted that people can also contact the Rural Agricultural Development Authority (RADA) for assistance.
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