Kingston Har­bour gets US$1 mil­lion life­line

Jamaica Gleaner - - FEATURE -

KINGSTON HAR­BOUR is about to get cleaned, thanks to a US$1-mil­lion award from Cal­i­for­nia’s Be­nioff Ocean Ini­tia­tive to de­ploy an in­ter­cep­tor, a de­vice which pre­vents plas­tic waste in rivers and drains from en­ter­ing the sea. The in­no­va­tion is the brain­child of Dutch en­vi­ron­men­tal char­ity The Ocean Cleanup, and will be de­ployed in the Hunt’s Bay sec­tion of the Kingston Har­bour.

It is es­ti­mated that more than 578,000 kilo­grams of plas­tic en­ters the Kingston Har­bour each year.

The in­stal­ment of the fully so­lar­pow­ered in­ter­cep­tor in Ja­maica’s pol­luted wa­ter­way will be in col­lab­o­ra­tion with lo­cal char­ity Re­cy­cling Part­ners of Ja­maica. Once on sta­tion in rivers or gullies, the in­ter­cep­tor au­tonomously ex­tracts the plas­tic waste and when al­most full, it sends a text mes­sage to the lo­cal op­er­a­tor to come and col­lect the waste. Plas­tics col­lected will be sep­a­rated at col­lec­tion cen­tres in Kingston and re­cy­cled where pos­si­ble.

Ac­cord­ing to Ocean Clean-up, in is­sue 40 of the Caribbean Mar­itime, ev­ery year mil­lions of tons of plas­tic en­ter the oceans, the ma­jor­ity of which spills out from rivers. A por­tion of this plas­tic trav­els to ocean garbage patches, get­ting caught in a vor­tex of cir­cu­lat­ing cur­rents. If no ac­tion is taken, the plas­tic will in­creas­ingly im­pact ecosys­tems, health, and economies.

“The Ocean Clean-up’s in­ter­cep­tors look set to rev­o­lu­tionise the way we con­trol wa­ter­borne pol­lu­tion. The in­ter­cep­tor is just one method of do­ing so. Their de­ploy­ment will make Caribbean wa­ters cleaner and that must be a good thing, but ed­u­cat­ing peo­ple about dis­pos­ing of plas­tic into rivers in the first place might be just as ben­e­fi­cial, and Kingston Har­bour may also be cleaner as a re­sult,” said Gary Gim­son, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor, Land & Ma­rine Pub­li­ca­tions.

Speak­ing with a Ja­maica In­for­ma­tion Ser­vice Think Tank on May 29, Ex­ec­u­tive Di­rec­tor of the Na­tional Solid Waste Man­age­ment Au­thor­ity, Aud­ley Gor­don, said that the ob­jec­tive for its cam­paign and Na­tional En­vi­ron­men­tal Aware­ness Week - June 2-8, themed ‘Com­post be­fore you dis­pose’ - is to foster a re­duc­tion in the amount of waste gen­er­ated for dis­posal.

It is a joint plea from the mar­itime in­dus­try and gov­ern­ing bod­ies for com­mu­ni­ties to prac­tise proper garbage dis­posal for a health­ier en­vi­ron­ment.

“The ship­ping in­dus­try world­wide is mak­ing huge ef­forts to re­duce pol­lu­tion – both on-board ves­sels and with the in­tro­duc­tion of elec­tri­cally pow­ered cargo-han­dling equip­ment,” Gim­son said.

In­ter­cep­tor 001 in the Cengkareng drain, Jakarta, In­done­sia.

Rot­ter­dam, Oc­to­ber 26, 2019 – The Ocean Cleanup un­veils the In­ter­cep­tor, the first scal­able river cleanup tech­nol­ogy.

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