We must stop littering To the Editor
Guyana Chronicle
January 31, 2002

We have always had a problem with garbage, and one of the reasons this problem persists is because there has been failure in the proper management of garbage, ineffective legislation and an uneducated public regarding the problem.

Problems we encounter are now wanton littering by everyone - companies, households, and individuals. This has been predicated by lack of signs etc., communicating a clear message regarding the need for proper disposal of garbage - where, how and when. This will result in a much more environmentally friendly populace.

Wanton disposal is now an environmental problem all coastal and interior regions experience. There is therefore the need for waste to be managed in an environmentally sound manner so that human health and the environment can be protected from the potential hazards of waste disposal.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regulations, solid waste is any garbage, refuge or sludge from a water treatment plant and any other discarded material including solid, liquid, semi solid or contained gaseous material, resulting from industrial, commercial, mining, agricultural operations and community activities.

The Mayor and City Council has been putting some measures in place to assist the alleviation of the problem (fines) but with no success. Drains are still rammed with garbage, bins are still overflowing, and waste is being casually thrown out of vehicles and dumped by passersby.

The national airwaves (radio) were trying earnestly to help promote proper disposal of garbage and keeping the environment clean, but after months of that campaign, no significant change has resulted. Other effective measures must be implemented.

There has to be a concerted effort by the relevant authorities to see that laws are implemented and that watchdogs are in place to justify the effectiveness of the program. The campaign must not be completed until changes are evident. The people of this nation must be very committed in ensuring that the environment is the way it ought to be.

People must be made aware of the consequences of littering. When garbage is not properly discarded, groundwater is contaminated and once this is contaminated, it is expensive, difficult and sometimes impossible to clean up. This alone is enough to make us aware that improper disposal of garbage could lead to a string of problems we may not be financially able to deal with.

This is a personal decision every member of society must take to arrest this problem and make our surroundings much more environmentally friendly.
Michelle Johnson