City steps up anti-litter drive
Guard placed at former dump site to catch law-breakers
Stabroek News
May 26, 2004

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The Mayor and City Council has stepped up a campaign against businesses that dump rubbish on the streets and has since arrested and prosecuted two persons who were recently caught littering.

Additionally, the City Constabulary yesterday launched a sanitisation programme targeting areas where littering is most rampant. Acting Chief Constable, Winston Crawford said the programme will continue for as long as citizens and businesses persist in throwing rubbish on the streets.

Speaking to Stabroek News yesterday, Crawford informed that at the council's last statutory meeting the constabulary was given the mandate to step-up security on King Street between Charlotte and Regent streets. Crawford said there is a spot in that area that has been converted into a dump site and is mostly being used by big businesses. According to Crawford, several warning letters were sent to these businesses but there continues to be huge piles of styrofoam, cardboard and other boxes strewn at the corner of King Street.

Commencing yesterday, Crawford said city cleaners were dispatched to the area early to tidy up the dump site and clear all debris on the road. Once that was done a city constable was placed at the corner. He insisted that if anyone was to be caught throwing litter on the site that person would be arrested and taken to the court. When Stabroek News checked King Street yesterday, the city constable was strategically positioned on the pavement.

Moreover, Crawford acknowledged that apart from King Street there are other areas where makeshift dump sites have developed. He said the council will soon move in on those areas, but for now, they will concentrate on King Street.

According to Crawford, there are many other things the constabulary would like to undertake but there is a lack of manpower. "We don't have the sort of human resources to tackle all the problems and the constabulary has other duties to perform and cannot only focus on preventing littering."

He mentioned that there are other illegal dump sites; on Camp Street next door to Brains Watch World, one in front of the Indian Arrival Monument, one on Alexander Street and one between Regent and Robb streets. According to Crawford, all of these sites are located close to big businesses. He asserted that while some businesses did not throw rubbish on the streets there are others that are notorious for littering.

Asked what garbage disposal arrangements are in place at these businesses, Crawford said most of them could benefit from the garbage trucks collecting their refuse, but at the time when the trucks pass most of the businesses are closed.

The acting Chief Constable also complained about the increase of mentally ill people on the streets. Crawford acknowledged that very often these persons are responsible for littering in front of the National Assembly and other public buildings.

With regard to vending, Crawford said the constabulary has 24-hour patrols. He said some of the established businesses on the streets where pavement vending occurs are responsible for the situation. He observed that most of the vendors would display their clothes and other goods on the walls of some of the stores, something which the constabulary cannot prevent unless the store owners object. Crawford said some store owners have not been cooperating and as such, the situation has begun to worsen. He warned that if it is allowed to continue the city could be heading back to those days when Regent Street was a scene of confusion.

Crawford also assured that the constabulary continues to enforce rigidly the 6 pm curfew for street selling. He said while the curfew came about to regulate business on Water Street the campaign was extended to other areas and city constables are usually very busy every night. He observed that some persons have been complying, but there are still a few who if given the chance would flout the court order.

Last year the M&CC had secured a Court of Appeal order for all stalls on Water Street to be closed and removed from the street at 6 pm.