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Japan backs plastics recycling project in Jamaica

Jamaica – The National Solid Waste Management Authority of Jamaica has announced plans to launch a recycling pilot project in three communities. The Japanese government, through the Japan International Cooperation Agency, is providing the bulk of the US$ 60 0000 funding while the remainder is coming from the Jamaican government.

The ‘Waste reduction through waste separation, waste diversion and recycling project’ aims to reduce the high volume of plastic waste, mostly polyethylene bottles. Waste management officials estimate the project will collect the equivalent of 347 tonnes of solid waste or 3.8 million plastic bottles.

The recycling initiative will involve around 2000 households from three communities during the six-month pilot phase; a further 34 communities are set to participate in the second stage of the scheme. Jamaica generates some 1.2 million tonnes of solid waste every year, some 75% of which ends up in landfill.

Currently, only a ‘miniscule’ portion of the remaining 25% is recycled by small operators, according to local government official Denzil Thorpe. ‘We are embarking on an aspect of environmental management that is commonplace in many developed countries and which will be a critical indicator of Jamaica’s own path to developed-country status by the year 2030,’ he comments.

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