Dear Jamaicans, are you recycling? Here’s the information you need…

Now, then. It’s still Lent, and that’s a time when I have noticed many Jamaicans make “resolutions” of some sort. It usually has something to do with “giving up” something. Well, perhaps then “giving up throwing plastic bottles out of my car window/into a drain/on the beach/into a gully in the hills somewhere/on the street anywhere” might be a good idea?

I am not only talking about plastic bottles, but trash in general, of course. However, let’s take a look at plastic bottles. How about making the effort to collect yours and taking them to your nearest recycling depot?

But where, and how? I hear you ask. Actually, it is much more simple than you think. Let’s go…

Recycling Partners of Jamaica (RPJ) currently accepts PET (1) and HDPE (2) plastics for recycling. Your soda or water bottle would be a PET bottle. Normally, you will see a triangular icon – sometimes it’s not so easy to make out, but the triangle will have a number in the middle. If it’s 1 or 2, it’s recyclable. HDPE (2) are often larger plastic bottles of different shapes and sizes. If it’s not either of those, then RPJ does not recycle it. Nor does it currently accept tins, glass, or cardboard (although I believe there may be other entities that deal with those).

We are fully aware by now, I think, of our clogged gullies and unsightly litter almost everywhere. In particular, plastic bottles have almost become part of the landscape. What we need to do is prevent plastic pollution from reaching the ocean; we are a small island, and all our waste eventually ends up in the sea, with disastrous results for humans and for nature. We want to intercept it. Once used, it should go straight to recycling.

RPJ’s newest depot is at Church Corner, Morant Bay, in St. Thomas.

Where’s that? Well, RPJ has established six major collection depots across the island. They are at the following locations:

  1. Lakes Pen, St. Catherine
  2. Trinity, St. Mary
  3. Greenwood, St. James
  4. Martin’s Hill, Manchester
  5. Whitehall, Westmoreland
  6. Morant Bay, St. Thomas

There are also numerous drop-off points throughout Kingston, St. Andrew, and beyond. More are being worked on all the time. You will see the branded cages.

So, now you know. You have no excuse, right!

I know, we have a long way to go, and plastic is a complex, man-made issue that we will be struggling with for some time. However, just as we somehow feel quite virtuous when we give up chocolate or coffee for Lent, there is a “feel good” factor in recycling, too. You know you are helping our poor beleaguered Planet. And, you are helping Jamaica to be a better place. So let’s go for it.

If you have questions, you can find RPJ on social media on Facebook and Instagram and also on Twitter @RecyclingJA. For more information, call: 876 948-7381.

The goal… (Can you believe we produce so much plastic?)

9 thoughts on “Dear Jamaicans, are you recycling? Here’s the information you need…

    1. Just to clarify further, in fact RPJ receives and processes all the waste that NSWMA collects on this schedule for SELECTED upscale communities such as your own. Currently collected plastics are sorted and baled and shipped to documented recyclers in Honduras and Nicaragua and certificates of proper disposal obtained. So there is no “dumping” involved. I hope this answers your queries.


  1. “…have no idea what they do with them”? Do you know what RPJ does with its collections? Recycling globally is rife with dumping of collected material! NSWMA collect recyclables on specified schedules; that’s been in operation as various projects for better part of a decade, and in regularly this area for 2 years.


    1. Yes. I know exactly what RPJ does with its collections, as a matter of fact. I am not aware of NSWMA’s collection schedules. They certainly don’t advertise this. What do they do with THEIR collections?


      1. NWSMA’s programmes are listed on its website and app; they’ll even link you personally by email or Whatsapp. You can add what RPJ do with their collection. Knowing what’s done doesn’t change the narrative that substantial amounts of recycled material is dumped or and the myth that recycling is taking waste out of the chain.


    1. So we should just leave stuff out for them? I don’t think that is the way to go. I do give them glass bottles in a separate bag, but have no idea what they do with them. If they do take “material to be recycled” then RPJ are probably involved but I am not aware of this. However, I will certainly ask.


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