Higher fines are to be introduced as part of deterrent measures to put an end to illegal dumping.
Minister of Local Government and Rural Development, Desmond McKenzie, said the existing fines are now under review.
“The [current] fines are not a deterrent. We are almost there in terms of the review of the fines… . We not only want to try to increase these fines; we want to try to do more public education, talking to Jamaicans to say, what is your take [on the situation], and how do we deal with violators,” he said.
McKenzie was speaking on the ‘Ask the Minister’ programme broadcast on Nationwide News on Tuesday (May 9).
According to the minister, the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) has been working closely with the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) to prosecute offenders.
“Quite a number of persons have been prosecuted, taken to the courts and fined for illegal dumping across the country. It is a perennial problem that despite the best efforts of the organisation in terms of improving the fleet, and improving the service, we still find that illegal dumps are springing up,” he added.
The minister further mused that an enforcement team of the NSWMA, which has the authority to execute warrants and prosecute persons for illegal dumping, has been mobilised to monitor the situation.
“The NSWMA has been intensifying its monitoring. We have been providing the resources for them. They have more staff going around now, monitoring and capturing these sites and they are working with the police,” McKenzie noted.
He also emphasised the personal responsibility of members of the public on this issue, adding that public education initiatives and discussions will be included to create sustainable solutions to this problem.
“We are going to have the country participate in the way forward in what we intend to do,” the minister said.