Going for glitter

Guyana Chronicle
February 7, 2001

ALL that glitters is not gold, it has been told.

But the kind of glitter the venerable City Hall is talking about is more than worth its weight in gold if the city fathers and mothers can get their shine to rub off on the goodly citizens of the capital city.

`Don't Litter. Let's Glitter!' read the message from the desk of the Public Relations Officer, City Hall last Sunday.

"Perhaps the most single worrying concern affecting our city is littering. In almost every ward of our beloved capital, several pieces of rubbish are left lying on our parapets, pavements and other thoroughfares", Mr Royston King noted.

His is certainly not the kind of lining that the tourism operators would want to drape over their ads to lure clients.

But wipe off the gloss and Mr King speaks the truth.

"It is now fashionable for some to strew the streets, particularly in our main commercial areas, with wrappings from sweets and other things, beer cans, bottles, cigarette packets and anything they wish to dispose of, sometimes in full public view", he has duly noted.

And although the modern world has fast caught up with Georgetown, among other places, the acceptable ways of treating trash have been slow in becoming fashionable in the city.

Mr King again noted:

"It is observed that a noticeable percentage of fast food packaging ends up as roadside litter. In the circumstances, many have to do a little more to help correct this situation."

He, however, bemoans:

"Unhappily, in many cases, this negative action goes without rebuke by bystanders, for fear of abuse by those recalcitrant persons."

The council has been trying but scorn has been poured on some of its efforts.

Mr King reported that the litter bins City Hall placed in certain sections, "were misused by some who dumped commercial and other waste in the receptacles".

What a waste!

He also reported that the apparently very active `Litter Prevention Unit of the Mayor and City Council' made out more than 200 cases against defaulters but this does not seem to be working.

Maybe, the council needs to high profile some of the culprits nabbed littering and should lose no time in getting some of those TV cameras that seem to pop up on special occasions in and around Georgetown to zoom in on court appearances and report on the cases.

That kind of regular camera and media glitter would not rub off well on those made to pay for the folly of their ways and they may end up seeing the light of day.

Go for it, Mr King. Alert the media and seek their cooperation when members of your `Litter Prevention Unit' nab the litter culprits.

A couple of front page photos of guilty litter bugs would more than open the eyes to the serious problem you face.

As you rightly point out:

"Beyond the fact that littering is an offence, with a fine of $10,000, it is a grave embarrassment to everyone of us as it reflects how we value and care for our environment, and distorts the beauty of our surroundings."

Go for the glitter, City Hall!

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