July 2016

The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) is tasked with safeguarding public health through environmentally sound solid waste management practices but has largely failed to achieve this objective. Many have proposed privatisation as a method of overcoming the obstacles which have hindered the NSWMA. What are these obstacles? Should the NSWMA be privatised? If it should, what models of privatisation should be pursued? And what lessons could be learnt from other countries’ experiences with privatising solid waste management services? This report aims to answer these questions.



Jacqueline Sharp has over 20 years' experience in the financial services industry. She joined Scotiabank, Jamaica in 1997, and worked in Treasury & Finance before starting up and leading the group's Private Banking Unit in 2002.

Jamaica generates approximately 800,000 tons of residential waste annually. The proper management and disposal of this waste is the responsibility of the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA). However, the continued dumping of waste at this waste-shed with little or no sorting poses major health and environmental concerns.
This policy brief was motivated by the need to increase awareness and understanding of the potential benefits of proper waste management and waste minimization practices. The routine occurrence of fire at the most active waste management site in Jamaica – the Riverton landfill – is also of major concern. These fires, resulting from spontaneous combustion and arson, serve to highlight the health and environmental risks associated with poor waste management practices.