JIS: Fifty environmental wardens are to be placed in primary schools in Clarendon and Manchester under a pilot programme involving the Ministry of Education, Youth and Information, and Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited (RPJL).
The wardens, who have already been trained, will have responsibility for managing the collection of plastic bottles in the institution they have been assigned.
Education Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid, said the Environmental Wardens Programme is an important part of Jamaica’s national development plan, Vision 2030, which speaks to cultivating a healthy environment.
“Lessons learned in school lay the foundation of habits for a lifetime, and among the more important lessons we can teach our children, is the importance of recycling, whether it is bottles, paper or (tin) cans. School recycling programmes such as this one can demonstrate the power of how small actions by many can achieve big things,” he pointed out.
The Minister was speaking at the launch of the initiative on February 1 at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston, where the parties signed a memorandum of understanding (M\OU).
Chairman of RPJL, Lucille Brodber, said the joint venture is a signal of public- and private-sector commitment to protecting and sustaining Jamaica’s environment and its beauty.
“We anticipate that the programme will be expanding to the Ministry’s other regions, so that other schools can be involved in this programme,” Ms. Brodber noted.
The Environmental Wardens Programme aims to educate youth about the importance of recycling and help them develop responsible attitudes towards the environment.
It is being delivered through the Work to Learn, Earn, Give, Save (LEGS) programme with training, assessment and certification of the environmental wardens facilitated by the HEART Trust/NTA.
Supervision of the wardens will be provided through the LEGS programme. The RPJL will ensure that schools have enough receptacles and that they are placed at strategic points to facilitate collection of plastic bottles.
RPJL is the designated national recycling entity and a registered charity with a mandate to separate and remove plastic material at the source to prevent these from polluting waterways, gullies and landfills.
Between March 2014 and December 2017, RPJL has removed 4.3 million pounds of polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles from the environment.
CAPTION: Education, Youth and Information Minister, Senator the Hon. Ruel Reid (left) is about to place an empty plastic bottle in a recycling bin, during the launch of the Environmental Wardens Programme in schools on February 1 at the Spanish Court Hotel in New Kingston. From right are State Minister for Education, Hon. Floyd Green (right); Environmental Warden, Ricardo Gouldbourne; Chairman of Recycling Partners of Jamaica Limited (RPJL), Lucille Brodber; and Environmental Warden, Samantha Wilson.