Do We Ever Think About Where the Waste Goes? Tourism Action Clubs Have Some Answers


The Tourism Enhancement Fund continues to provide tremendous support for the Jamaica Environment Trust’s (JET) campaign to make Jamaicans more aware of the damaging effects of careless solid waste disposal on our environment…and on the environment our visitors see. Recently, Tourism Action Clubs across the island participated in a special research day to track where our waste ends up when we dispose of it thoughtlessly. The results were impressive; moreover, club members took the “action” part of their mandate seriously and organized cleanups in their respective communities. Well done to the students and teachers involved.

JET’s CEO Diana McCaulay reminded us that gullies (which is where much of our waste ends up) are not “self-cleaning.” When it rains, the garbage is just shifted somewhere else. We all have a personal responsibility to keep our environment clean, with the help and support of the Government. And on that note, she added, “Big up all the garbage collectors!”

Not just for our visitors, but for ourselves who live here, let’s clean up our act!

“Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica!”

Fashionable garments made from recycled materials, elaborate 3D models, multimedia presentations, original songs and skits were among the items presented at the Where the Waste Goes Research Day and Competition on Earth Day. The event was part of the Clean Coasts Project which is being delivered by the Jamaica Environment Trust (JET) in partnership with the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF). The competition targeted select Tourism Action Clubs in secondary and tertiary institutions which are managed by the Jamaica Tourist Board’s Tourism Awareness Unit.

A part of the incredibly detailed model of the Cassava Piece community by Oberlin High School, which won Most Creative Display. (My photo)
A part of the incredibly detailed model of the Cassava Piece community by Oberlin High School, which won Most Creative Display. (My photo)
Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund Clyde Harrison presents the Prize for Best Display (Secondary School) to a member of the Westwood High School team. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)
Executive Director of the Tourism Enhancement Fund Clyde Harrison presents the Prize for Best Display (Secondary School) to a member of the Westwood High School team. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)

The research day focused on where Jamaica’s waste ends up after it is thrown away. Schools presented on solid waste management issues in gullies, drains and coastlines in both urban and rural areas. Westwood High School emerged the winners of the Best Display by a Secondary School with their research project on the garbage management issues being experienced at Half Moon Bay Beach in Trelawny. Their project included water and soil pollution testing at the site, beach cleanups and the establishment of an ongoing public education campaign focused on garbage management with the Half Moon Bay fishermen and wider community. Moneague College received the award for Best Display by a Tertiary institution for their outstanding research and display exploring garbage impacts on a storm drain which empties into the Moneague Lake. Most Creative Display was awarded to Oberlin High who had spent weeks working on a detailed model made out of recycled materials depicting the Cassava Piece Gully and surrounding communities.

The Best Spokesperson was Calvin Wright of St. George's College. He was simply delighted to win. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)
The Best Spokesperson was Calvin Wright of St. George’s College. He was simply delighted to win. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)

Guest Speaker at the Awards Mr. Paul Pennicook, Director of Tourism, commended the students on their presentations. “I am impressed by your depth of knowledge, your informational representation of the topic, your resourcefulness and creative presentation,” he said. “Your work is a manifestation of the reason the Jamaica Tourist Board initiated the Tourism Action Clubs, to empower young minds to continue the industry’s rich and successful legacy.”

“Our environment and our tourist industry are inextricably linked as the quality of the environment, both natural and man-made, is essential to the survival of the sector,” said Mr. Pennicook, highlighting the significance and connection of the research theme to the tourism industry.

The Clean Coasts Project was launched in 2014. The programme is being spearheaded by JET with $34.5 million in funding from TEF. The project brings together stakeholders from across Jamaica – schools, citizens, government, and tourism industry players – with the aim of tackling poor solid waste management and marine debris in Jamaica. Other components of the Clean Coasts Project include the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica public education campaign and underwater cleanups in major resort areas around the island.

Judges Eleanor Jones (Environmental Solutions Limited), Diana McCaulay, Jamaica Environment Trust and Sharille Pink, speak with a student of Oberlin High School while judging displays on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)
Judges Eleanor Jones (Environmental Solutions Limited), Diana McCaulay, Jamaica Environment Trust and Sharille Pink, speak with a student of Oberlin High School while judging displays on Earth Day, April 22, 2015. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)

To learn more about Tourism Action Clubs, contact the Tourism Awareness Unit, Jamaica Tourist Board, 64 Knutsford Boulevard, Kingston 5. Tel: (876) 929-9200-10. Email: tacjamaica@visitjamaica.com Website: http://www.tacjamaica.com

Watch and share these great “Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica” videos! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCZUQdVgEFCS0UkKSc0sSLIw

Comedian Russhaine "Dutty" Berry, ambassador for the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica campaign, chats with Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook at JET's event. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)
Comedian Russhaine “Dutty” Berry, ambassador for the Nuh Dutty Up Jamaica campaign, chats with Director of Tourism Paul Pennicook at JET’s event. (Photo: Jamaica Environment Trust)

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