Trash to Cash: How some J’cans ‘eat a food’ from plastic bottle sales Loop Jamaica

The content originally appeared on: Jamaica News Loop News

Jamaicans can now earn by collecting and selling their recyclable plastic bottles. This comes after the strategic launch of community-based recycling programmes across Kingston and St Andrew.

Already, scores of persons have joined the programme. ‘Donna’, a recycle warden, started collecting plastic bottles over 18 months ago, and now operates the Greenwich Redemption Centre, and collects approximately 20,000 pounds per month, and is able to engage persons to assist her with collection and sorting.

Donna’s receives plastic bottles from several communities, such as Tower Hill, Two Miles, Tower Isle and Waterhouse.

“It’s great for the environment and the community at large. I’m happy that I’m able to earn a living and get a few youths to help out too,” Donna proudly said.

Recycle wardens like Donna are able to make a steady living through recycling. “Honestly, you can eat a food and ah pay a bill. Every dollar makes sense once you work for it.”

The same was echoed by the recycle warden for Franklyn Town, Donat Booth. He started his community programme in September 2022, and collects plastic bottles from residents in his community. He was urged to take action due the blocked drains and littered streets in the community.

Donat Booth

“Not only have we seen physical improvements on our roads and street corners, but we have experienced less flooding incidents and blocked drains since the inception of the programme,” he said.

Managing Director of the overall programme, Rohan Brown, first launched the initiative in 2021 in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are not only able to provide a sustainable solution to the recovery of plastic bottles, but also provide a steady stream of income to our partners. Our approach is simple; reward the consumers for depositing their plastic bottles. We have managed to successfully do so efficiently through corporate partnership with Recycle Partners of Jamaica.

The recycling programme, which is being facilitated by Jamaica Recycles, is open to all communities in Kingston and St Andrew. Several communities, such as Vineyard Town, Rollington Town and Harbour View, have also signed up and are on board.

Persons are invited to contact the company to start their own community programmes.