The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) and its regional offices will be observing National Environmental Awareness Week from June 4 to June 10.
The week, which is being observed under the theme, ‘End Travel Waste’, will also incorporate Solid Waste Day, on Tuesday, June 6.
Kimberley Blair, community relations manager at the authority, told JIS News that the aim is to get citizens to reduce their waste while travelling and to develop environmentally friendly habits on their trips.
“We want them to care for their favourite places, beaches and rivers… pick up after themselves and keep our outdoor spaces clean, making them more enjoyable. Just think what would happen if everyone picked up at least one piece of litter. ‘If yuh travel wid yuh waste, nuh use it dutty up di place’,” said Blair.
She pointed out that the NSWMA and its regional entities have organised several activities to commemorate the week, which will begin with a national church service at the Ocho Rios Baptist Church, in St Ann, on Sunday (June 4), at 9:00 am.
Blair informed that for Solid Waste Day, the SPM Waste Management Limited will host a ‘solid waste march and expo’. The march will commence at SPM’s office in Mandeville and culminate at the Cecil Charlton Park with the expo and a mini-concert.
Other activities include a clean-up exercise by NEPM Waste Management Limited at the Ocho Rios Clock Tower, in St Ann, on June 7; an underwater clean-up by WPM Waste Management Limited at the Dead-End Beach in St James, on June 8 (World Ocean Day) and clean-up activities in Spanish Town, St Catherine by MPM Waste Management Limited, on June 9.
A walkathon will also be staged in each region to culminate the week of activities.
Blair indicated that for the NSWMA and the MPM Waste Management Limited, the walkathon will see team members journeying from the Harbour View roundabout to the Palisadoes roundabout.
“This activity is not just about raising awareness about travel waste but will double up as a team-building activity. It has been exciting training in-house, so we can make the trek easily, so it really will be a walk of fun,” she added.
Blair said all activities are open to the public as “only together, through positive collaboration, can we deliver on our mandate to ensure a clean and healthy Jamaica”.
The NSWMA is responsible for the management of solid waste in Jamaica.
Fulfilling this mandate facilitates action that would safeguard public health, ensure that waste is collected, stored, transported, recycled and reused, or disposed of in an environmentally sound manner.