Jamaica

Submitted by National Environment and Planning Agency

(Note: The National Environment and Planning Agency provided a response for the industrial and hazardous waste streams)

Summary of information
Highest priority waste streams
N/A
Highest priority areas of capacity building
1. Policy and regulatory
2. Technical and scientific
3. Social
Narrative summary
Different government bodies are responsible for different areas of waste management in Jamaica. Responses by the National Environment and Planning Agency, working in the management of industrial and hazardous waste, mention that cooperation between different agencies and ministries is needed. In general, better waste management policies and regulations are required, and support for policies need to be built from all levels. Internationally, technical assistance from developed countries in hazardous waste management strategies would be welcome, while locally, contribution and feedback into policies by the private sector and the general public is desired.

Industrial waste
Industrial waste management in Jamaica is subject to a regulatory framework, but policy implementation and enforcement is weak. In particular, regulations on trade effluents need to be better enforced. The responses suggest that the high costs of constructing facilities that satisfy regulations are a cause of low compliance levels with regulations. Costs can nevertheless be mitigated by the construction of centralized or shared rather than smaller individual facilities. Moreover, there is a lack of knowledge and interest in environmentally sound waste management practices in the industrial sector. Waste segregation, recycling and reuse is generally not performed by industries due to a lack of technical capacity and social responsibility. Finally, responsibilities of government bodies (such as the National Solid Waste Management Authority, the Ministry of Health, and the National Environment and Planning Agency) must be made clear and realistic, in order to prevent issues from falling outside the scope of responsibility of all institutions.

Hazardous waste
Cooperation is needed at all levels to improve hazardous waste management in Jamaica. Above all, the country lacks the technical capacity for waste management. International cooperation with developed countries to exchange information and expertise would assist the country in developing strategies for the handling and storage of hazardous waste. The country also needs more guidance from international conventions (such as the Cartagena Convention) in developing hazardous waste policies and regulations, especially regarding the transboundary movement of waste. Regional policies should be harmonized so that there are no loopholes to exploit in the shipping arrangements of hazardous waste. Nationally, Jamaica’s governmental bodies need to cooperate in developing a joint approach for hazardous (or general) waste management. Public awareness programmes should be designed with the aim of involving the public in the monitoring and enforcement framework. Finally, cooperation with the private sector is needed in order to procure funds for hazardous waste management. A paradigm shift towards seeing waste management as a profitable business should be encouraged.