EDITORIAL - Jamaica's obsession with garbage
Jamaica has been suffering from extreme environmental abuse and degradation for many, many years.
And when television news focused on the debris-choked gullies and general garbage pile-up in the Hanover capital, Lucea, it was most likely met with the same kind of indifference. Graphically written stories about garbage-infested towns could fill many news pages because it is that prevalent.
The first thing to recognise is that citizens must take some of the blame for improper disposal of waste. But it is also clear that none of the parish councils and municipalities is properly equipped to carry out their substantive responsibility of keeping towns and cities clean.
Our streets are littered with non-biodegradable plastic bottles, Styrofoam containers, food wrappers, and 'scandal bags'. Meanwhile, the stench of untreated sewage creates an environmental nightmare. Negligently discarded trash is not only an eyesore; it can do harm to wild and marine life too.
We need look no further than the markets to recognise the high level of resigned indifference to the state of Jamaica. Market vendors and the shoppers who patronise them carry on a lively trade surrounded by mounds of debris and the flies they attract, and sometimes there are pools of stagnant water. It does not seem to bother anyone.