The Parks & Gardens Division was established in 2008 in order to generate revenue for the Authority. The Division provides employment for over four thousand (4,000) Individuals island wide and is fully self sufficient, that is, it is not a recipient of government subvention.
The division secures contracts for major projects from other government agencies and private companies which results in the realization of modest revenue earned for the Authority. As a result, revenue earned has afforded the Authority the ability to purchase urgently needed equipment and machinery which could not be procured from limited government allocation.
In 2009 the first of six (6) plant nurseries at the National Heroes Park was constructed with the capacity to house over thirty thousand (30,000) plants.
Communities across the island have benefitted from the beautification efforts of the division as overgrown lots have been cleared and replaced with tropical flowers.
Since its inception, the Parks & Gardens Division has forged several lucrative partnerships with other agencies, a number of which include the following:
- Tourism Product Development Company Limited (TPDCo.)
- Urban Development Corporation (UDC)
- National Water Commission
- HEART Trust/NTA
The services of the division include the following:
- Cut and prune trees
- Mow lawns
- Landscape and general horticultural maintenance of properties
- Beautification efforts
- Plant rental for offices, special events and homes
- Sale of mulch and compost
- Clear overgrown
- Clean up of debris post construction activities
- Maintain verges and medians
Be Waste Conscious - Use NPG Compost
The compost produced by the Parks and Gardens Division is 100% natural. Bio-degradable organic waste such as manure, grass and tree trimmings, leaves and fruit and vegetable waste is collected from horse stables, agro food processors, tree cuttings, road side trimmings and local farmers markets. The waste is then transported to a waste processing facility which is managed by the NSWMA, where it is processed.
Using the compost is an economical and environmentally friendly way of fertilizing and protecting plants and gardens, while at the same time supporting an initiative to reduce waste.
Compost has many uses such as:
- Fertiliser for lawns
- Fertiliser for gardens
- Fertiliser for trees and shrubs
- Mulch for potted plants
- Addition to starter mixes
Compost has a number of advantages:
- Easy-to-use; Available in two convenient sizes – 3kg and 20kg
- Environmentally-friendly; No chemicals added
- Odor free
Why use compost?
- Compost adds organic matter and improves soil structure
- Provides valuable plant nutrients and trace minerals and promotes the development of plan roots
- Less reliance on synthetic fertilizer
- Saves and manages water thus improving soil porosity, drainage and aeration
- Compost increases plant tolerance to drought conditions
- Research confirms that compost increases plant resistance to certain diseases
- Organic compost has proven to be more effective than raw manure as the latter can re-infect livestock with internal parasites, bacteria and viruses.
"IF YOU LITTER YOU LIFE A GO BITTER"
The National Solid Waste Management Act Fixed Penalty Notice (Litter Ticket) was promulgated on May 1, 2007. Through the Fixed Penalty Notice, the NSWMA has the power to ticket and charge offenders with fines as high as ten thousand dollars ($10,000.00) per violation – a strategy which hopefully may discourage people from littering and engaging in illegal dumping.
The NSWMA is aggressive in its efforts to identify persons who breach the provisions of the Act. The following are Authorized Officers who may issue tickets and fines to the violators:
- Any person appointed as a Traffic Warden
- A person appointed as an authorized officer under the National Resources Conservation Regulations, or appointed by the Minister under the National Resources Conservation Authority Act
- A Public Health Officer
- Any member of the Jamaica Constabulary Force or the Island Special Constabulary Force
- Authorized Officers under the MSWM Act
- An Inspector
- Any other person acting in aid of such person acting in the execution of his office or duty
A list of the offences which attract a ticket/fine and the corresponding penalties are illustrated in the table below:
- Littering or disposing of garbage in any public space
- Wilfully breaking any bottle or article made of glass in or on any public place without having lawful authority or reasonable excuse to do so
- Littering or disposing of garbage in or on any premises owned or occupied by another person without the consent of that person
- Defacement of public property or public space by erecting, displaying, depositing or affixing anything on any building, wall, fence or structure
- Employing persons to deface public property or public space by erecting, displaying, depositing or affixing anything on any building, wall, fence or structure
BACKYARD COMPOSTING – A Guide for Composting Yard and Food Waste
What is Composting?
Composting is nature's process of recycling decomposed organic materials into a rich soil known as compost. Anything that was once living will decompose. Basically, backyard composting is an acceleration of the same process nature uses. By composting your organic waste you are returning nutrients back into the soil in order for the cycle of life to continue. Finished compost looks like soil–dark brown, crumbly and smells like a forest floor.
What You Can Compost
- Kitchen scraps (vegetable and fruit peelings)
- Garden refuse; grass and hedge clippings, leaves, flowers
- Manure from herbivores (cow, pig, goat etc.)
- Paper, cardboard, saw dust and wood shavings
- Wood ashes
What Not to Compost
- Diseased plants
- Harmful weeds and seeds
- Human and pet excrement
- Meat scraps, fats, grease or oils
- Dairy products
- Dead animals
- Household chemicals
- Non-organic material (plastic, metal, glass)
- Yard and food waste make up 30% of the waste stream. Composting your kitchen and yard trimmings helps divert that waste from the landfill, waterways and water treatment facilities.
- You will significantly reduce pest problems–and your use of pesticides.
- Healthy plants from healthy soil look better, produce better and have a much greater ability to fight off pests and diseases.
- Adding organic materials to the soil improves moisture retention.
- Adding decomposed organic material to the soil feeds beneficial organisms.
- Compost amends both sandy and clay soils.
- Compost provides a balanced, slow–release source of nutrients that helps the soil hold nutrients long enough for plants to use them.
- Composting saves money–you avoid the cost of buying soil conditioners, bagged manure etc.
- Feeding your plants well will improve your own diet. Plants grown in depleted soils have a reduced nutrient content.
- Home composting is a valuable tool in educating children about nature and the cycle of life.
- Yard and kitchen waste, air, water, soil and compost to introduce micro-organisms necessary for decomposition.
- Plastic or metal tin measuring at least 2ft by 3ft with solid sides and holes for drainage 6” apart.
- Homemade bins made of wire, wood or used pellets measuring at least 3ft by 3ft.
- Mix yard and kitchen scraps in bin or pile
- Add one (1) shovel or two (2) of soil, compost and or manure
- Add bulky material (wood chip)
- Add water as needed to moisten the pile so that the compost is loose and airy
- Mix compost material together
- Thoroughly turn over compost once per week. This exercise allows for thorough decomposition, prevents overheating and increases the composting process
- Compost process is complete within five (5) to eight (8) weeks
How does it Work?
Micro-organisms (bacteria, fungi, molds, earthworms, insects) eat the organic material you place in your compost pile
Organic material high in nitrogen and carbon feed the micro-organisms living in your compost pile
The micro-organisms in your compost pile need air in order to break down the organic material. By turning your pile with a fork or hoe, you create air passages for the compost to breathe
The compost should be damp, similar to that of a wrung sponge. During dry spells the moisture will evaporate and so it will become necessary to add water. Covering your compost will also help in the retention of moisture on hot days.
Time and Temperature
Composting is accelerated in high temperature. Properly constructed compost can retain a temperature of 130◦ to160◦ degrees Fahrenheit which can also destroy weed seeds.
Prepare for Use
- After the allotted time, the material at the bottom of the compost heap would have transformed into dark, rich smelling soil.
- Sift or separate large clumps from the compost heap.
- Mix the sifted soil with garden and typical yard soil
Checks and Balances
Compost heap has a bad odor
Compost is too wet
Compost is not properly ventilated
Add coarse, dry material and mix
Centre of the heap is dry or white mould appears
Presence of excess coarse woody material
Chop/shred coarse woody material
Add fresh green waste
Turnover and moisten all the ingredients
Compost heap is damp and has a sweet odor but is not heated
Lack of nitrogen
Add source of nitrogen – fresh grass clippings or fresh manure
Compost heap is damp or warm in the middle but dry elsewhere
Compost heap is too small or dry
Add more material to compost heap
Mix and moisten new and old material together to create a larger compost heap
Alternate Ways to Compost
A number of alternate ways to compost exist. It all depends on one’s individual needs and available resources. The following outlines the different ways to reuse household/yard waste:
Simply spread leaves and grass clippings around the base of plants a few inches from the stems. Yard trimmings acts first as a mulch to retain moisture and then decompose to enrich the soil.
Combine organic material together in a heap/pile measuring approximately five (5) feet wide and three (3) feet tall. Gradually add material and regularly moisten and turnover pile
Dig a hole in the ground at least eight inches (8”) deep and add kitchen scraps. Cover the hole and then use as a plant base.
WHY WE MUST NOT LITTER
Litter is any solid waste object that can be held or carried in a person's hand that is left behind or placed in an inappropriate location. Any such material or item which is disposed of in an inappropriate manner is regarded as litter.
Litter ranges from small items such as cigarette butts to large items like a bag of rubbish dumped in a back lane. Other common litter includes drink bottles (plastic, glass and metal), small pieces of paper, chip and confectionery wrappers, fast-food packaging materials, bottle caps and plastic straws.
- Litter costs money. Removing litter from the environment costs mega $$$s every year. Somewhere along the line it will affect our back or hip pocket
- Litter is a threat to public health. Litter attracts vermin and is a breeding ground for bacteria. Items such as broken glass and syringes can be a health hazard in public places.
- Litter can be a fire hazard. Accumulated litter and carelessly discarded cigarette butts are potential fire hazards.
- Litter negatively affects the image of places, especially tourist locations.
- Litter attracts litter. Litter sends out a message that people do not care for the environment and that it is acceptable to litter.
- Litter can harm or kill wildlife. Plastic litter can choke or suffocate birds and marine life. Carelessly discarded containers can trap small mammals
- Litter harms our waterways.
NSWMA’s message is ‘No beauty makes our environment gloomy’. Let us all make an effort not to indiscriminately throw around wastes/refuse you have on you. Dispose of them in a trash bin. If you are nowhere near a bin keep them with you until you spot one or take your rubbish with you and dispose of it at home. By everyone making a small effort, we can all help to reduce litter in Jamaica.
NSWMA HURRICANE PREPAREDNESS PLAN
The NSWMA is among the first responder in the event of a disaster. We are a part of the National Preparedness and Response Committee and work through ODPEM to achieve the objectives of early restoration of normalcy. We work primarily with the National Works Agency during the aftermath of Hurricanes to provide access to critical institutions and officials.
Through the Parks and Gardens Division we clear fallen trees blocking roadways and through the Parks and Market Companies we remove these trees, other debris and waste.
In preparing for a Disaster therefore we are cognizant that we work in partnership in some areas and fulfill our own mandate in others. The plan sets out the procedures to be adopted and actions to be taken by and within the NSWMA in the event that a hurricane approaches/strikes Jamaica. Although our primary function of the NSWMA in the event of a hurricane is associated with the national relief and restoration activities, it recognizes the importance of proper prior preparation to be able to respond after ‘the blow’.
DEFINITION AND CHARACTERISTICS OF HURRICANE
A hurricane is defined as wind in excess of 85 knots accompanied by rain and lasting for between six and 36 hours. It is characterized by:
- wind at a speed in excess of 25km per hour and with gust up to 180 knots
- wind width 170-250 km
- rain fall 450 mm in the first two hours
- tide surge 3-10 metres
The strength and duration of a hurricane will determine the extent of any damage and consequently the volume of debris the NSWMA will be required to clear and remove.
Recognizing the need for prior preparedness, the NSWMA has approached planning for the upcoming hurricane season by assessing the last hurricane – Sandy and taking careful note of information provided by the ODPEM concerning the upcoming season.
It is noted that 21 named systems are predicted for the 2013 season with five of them projected to be major hurricanes. We note also that Jamaica is usually affected by systems coming from the Gulf of Mexico, but note that Sandy came from the Atlantic Ocean. We are therefore preparing for any and all eventuality.
The NSWMA is one of the first responders in the event of a disaster and in particular a hurricane.
In preparing for the 2013 hurricane season, the NSWMA evaluated lessons from Sandy, and in particular those issues relating to debris and waste management prior to, during and after a hurricane.
We noted that:
- There was no plan to deal with collection, transportation and disposal of debris separate from the collection, transportation and disposal of regular domestic and commercial waste;
- There was no plan to deal with the collection and disposal f bulky waste (stove, fridges, etc.)
- Large volume of commercial waste was mixed in with the domestic waste and debris
- The assessment of the volume of debris generated by the hurricane was understated
- The NSWMA was competing with NWA and NWC for tipper trucks and equipment
- The availability of private sector resources were inadequate as what was available were often defective.
With this information, the Authority has developed a preparedness plan aimed at:
- Removal of debris caused by major disaster
- Co-ordinating the management of debris to mitigate potential threat to life, health and safety of citizens
- Manage holding areas, transfer stations and disposal sites
- Assess volume and characteristic of waste
The Preparedness Plan has three phases.
Phase I: Prior to Announcement of Hurricane
In this phase, the Authority has:
- Trained with the assistance of UNDP a staff member of Disaster Debris Management. That training is now being transferred to other staff.
- Reviewed our Logistic Arrangements.
- Established five Disaster Preparedness Committees, one at the NSWMA and four regional ones.
- Designated Responsible Officers for various elements of the Disaster Preparedness operations
- Identified temporary disposal sites. We have sought the permission of the various owners to use the facilities and are now awaiting responses.
- Each Region has been tasked with the responsibility to establish Framework Agreement with Waste Haulers and Heavy Duty Owners
- Prepared contact lists of owners and operators
- Obtained list of shelter from ODPEM
- Community Relations Department to develop and implement public education programme on waste management in the event of a hurricane.
Among the issues to be addressed are:
- The importance of separation of waste during and after a hurricane
- What to put out for collection and when
- How to treat with lawn, edge and tree cuttings
- How to treat with bulky waste
- Where not to place waste/debris
- The consequence of burning debris
- Contacting the NSWMA
Phase II- Hurricane Alert – Announcement by the Met Office of a possible hurricane ‘hitting’ Jamaica within the next 72 hours.
During this phase, it is proposed that in addition to internal preparation to protect property and acquire emergency supplies, the four Regional Entities will take all necessary steps to clear any backlog of domestic garbage and to bring forward collection arrangements. This will ensure that the amount of domestic waste that is stored by households is reduced to a minimum in anticipation of two to three days of hurricane activities when collection will not be possible.
The placement of signs and general preparation of holding areas will also take place during this period.
The Community Relations Division to intensify public education during this phase.
Confirmation of Framework arrangements.
Request for funds. It should be noted that the budget for pre-hurricane cleanup has been submitted to the Ministry of Local Government.
Twenty four (24) hours before the hurricane strikes, the plan calls for:
- The establishment of command centres at all five locations
- Activation of monitoring systems
- Checking of standby generator, fuel and water
- Servicing of chain saws
- Securing hurricane supplies, including protective clothing, boots, rain cloaks, gloves, etc.
- Confirmation of the availability of units and equipment
- Confirmation of availability of ‘responsible officers’
- Confirmation of work crews for dispatch centres and holding areas
- Verification of documentation for dispatch and arrival of collection vehicles
- Verification of route options for movement of personnel after the hurricane
- Liaise with ODPEM
- Verification of access roads to holding areas and disposal sites
- Dispatch ticket books to Regions with written instructions
- Hold confab with all Designated/Responsible Officers via Skype if possible
- Secure emergency cash and confirm supply arrangements
Phase III – After the Hurricane
- Assemble at command centre
- Liaise with ODPEM as to assignment for road clearance. Special emphasis will be placed on:
- Access to Police Stations
- Fire stations
- Prime Minister Residence to Jamaica House
- Designated Shelters
- Power Generation Areas
- Roadways to NWC facilities
- Roadways to holding areas and disposal sites
- Main roads and highways
- Internal Roads
The work crew and equipment for this task will includes Power Saws and Operators, Tipper Trucks, Front End Loaders, Crane trucks, machetes and files, wood chipper/s. The teams will include an Enforcement Officer and a Monitor/designated Team Leader.
- Assess the NSWMA and Regional Bodies properties and equipment and carry out essential repairs
- Assess first round of debris to determine volume and type
- Dispatch Enforcement Team to monitor illegal dumping
- Activate Unit Dispatch Centres which will comprise PCM, Dispatcher Clerks, Fleet Manager, Mechanic and appropriate Security. Only pre-approved units will be dispatched.
- Schedule collection
- Issue daily updates on the where, and when of collection
- Begin debris collection of priority areas and main roads
- Arrange for collection of domestic waste from shelters, police stations, hospitals and fire stations
- Secure funding
- The Executive Director is the Commanding Officer
- The Director of Operations is responsible to ensure proper assessment of debris and the development of a debris management plan.
- The Standard and Safety Manager has been placed in charge of the identification, preparation and management of temporary Holding Areas
- The Fleet Manager has responsibility to ensure that all usable NSWMA vehicles and equipment are in readiness and are kept operational during the clean up phase of a hurricane
- The Administrative Procurement Manager has responsibility for procurement and management of all materials, service and supplies related to the pre-during and post hurricane period
- The ROMs have direct responsibility for day to day implementation of the debris management plan, including scheduling and monitoring of units, equipment and personnel.
- The Senior Enforcement Officer is responsible for monitoring the illegal or improper dumping of waste including tree cuttings on any roadway, or open spaces.
- The Director of Finance is charged with the responsibility of monitoring the use of funds and in consultation with the ED to identify sources of funds for the pre and post hurricane expenditures.