City councillor, businessman charged as anti-litter campaign gets underway

Kaieteur News
February 3, 2007

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City Council officials yesterday commenced an intensive anti-litter campaign in a bid to combat what was described as an out-of-control litter problem in the city. And by the end of the day, a businessman and a city councillor were charged for improper waste disposal.

According to Chief Environmental Health Officer and Coordinator of the campaign, Mr Kenneth Stephens, the Council was forced into tackling the littering situation from a different angle since previous actions did not produce the desired results.

He pointed to some business places that do not have waste receptacles, adding that this practice has proven to add significantly to the problem of littering in the city.

Based on years of observation the Council was able to discover that the absence of waste receptacles had led to several business owners hiring drug addicts to dump refuse into alleyways and on street corners.

While some of these business people have been placed before the courts Stephens said that there was still need to strengthen the process since the problem still persisted despite the Council's earnest efforts.

The campaign was also prompted by the fast approach of Cricket World Cup, according to Stephens, who noted that it is the desire of the Council to ensure that the city is presentable to visitors.

Stephens stressed his optimism of the success of the campaign which should continue for the next three weeks.

This campaign will not only target homes and business places without waste receptacles but also persons found littering and those with congestions or obstructions on their parapets.

Stephens noted, too, that it will include a public health aspect which will see environmental and vector control officers identifying and eliminating mosquito breeding places as well as applying traps and chemical solutions to prevent rodents.

As such the campaign saw the collaboration of officials from Solid Waste Management, the City Constabulary and the Environmental Health and Sanitation departments.

Before heading out into the field the participating officials were briefed on their tasked and what was expected of them by City Mayor Hamilton Green, Town Clerk Ms Beulah Williams and Public Relations Officer, Mr Royston King.

The target area yesterday was Lacytown which Stephens said is the central commercial area in the city.

Armed with their chemicals and other implements the officials were divided into three groups as they ventured out to take on the littering public.

City Councillor Desmond Moses, who lauded the initiative, said that it will serve to sensitise the general public on ways to keep their environment clean. He noted, too, that the media has a very important role too in helping the council meet its objective by highlighting the various areas which may be prone to constant litter practices.

Those persons found littering during the campaign will be immediately arrested and those with obstructions once failing to comply with the council will be taken to Court by way of summons.

However, according to Deputy Superintendent, Trevor Merriman, those persons who choose to become hostile and disregard the Council's request will be forcefully taken into custody and placed before the court.

Merriman and his five-man team yesterday scoured the Lacytown area as they sought out littering defaulters. Among the defaulters confronted yesterday was a well-known political figure who by no means was treated differently from other defaulting citizens.

The solid waste team was also able to identify several business places which were without waste receptacles as the environmental and vector team visited each home spraying their chemicals and educating residents of the importance of keeping their environment clean.

The names of non-complying defaulters will be published in the press since according to Stephens “some people do not desist from wrong-doing unless they are embarrassed.”

The campaign will continue everyday and after seven days an assessment will be conducted to determine its accomplishment and the financing needful to ensure its sustainability.