Citizens and businesses continue to dump rubbish
Stabroek News
November 1, 2001

Dear Editor,

The front-page photograph of a large quantity of plastic, Styrofoam and other rubbish in the Commerce Street canal showed the serious difficulty that we, at City Hall, are faced with to carry out one aspect of our general responsibility. The channel is one of the city's main waterways. It drains areas of Lacytown, Stabroek and Bourda. It was desilted a few days ago, as part of a seventy five million dollars ($75,000,000.00), drainage project undertaken by the Mayor and City Coun-cil.

We have spoken almost ad nauseam, at various fora, of the excessive use of plastic, the improper way by which this non-biodegradable material is disposed of in many parts of the city and our inadequacy to treat with it effectively. Though we are aware that it is part of modernisation and in some cases more convenient for citizens, we do not have the requisite money and appropriate technology to manage this material in a way that would prevent it from hurting our environment. Consequently, it remains a big problem to the city.

This is made worse by the fact that some of our citizens are addicted to the bad habit of dumping whatever they do not wish to keep on their premises into the trenches and canals. They appear to be extremely uncaring and clearly unmindful of the importance of these waterways. This puts at risk the health of the city and its populace. The time is long overdue for concerned groups and citizens to speak out against this indulgence in local communities.

The truth is that every time we are forced to remove such debris from our canals scarce resources must be diverted from other critical and more vulnerable areas such as road building, maternal and child welfare, street sights and other environmental services. This is unfair to property owners, who paid their rates to help improve the conditions in Georgetown.

Some time ago, we suggested that fast food outlets, restaurants and other businesses, which are concerned with the scale of food put motivational messages on their boxes, wrappers, packaging materials and other containers, to discourage customers from throwing these unto parapets and into drains.

Unfortunately, some have not heeded this. In fact, some of these food dealers do not have the basic requirement of a proper receptacle on their premises for customers use. We believe that every law-abiding citizen should insist that such businesses have this necessity in an appropriate place.

Another problem we face is the absence of grease traps to the fittings of some of these restaurants.

In many parts of our city, especially highly commercial areas, property owners suffer from over tapping because of the absence of this facility. In another few days we hope to talk with those concerned to help us help the environment.

Yours faithfully,

Royston King

Public Relations Officer

City Hall