City Hall begins massive anti-litter campaign

Kaieteur News
February 2, 2007

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City Council officials yesterday commenced an intensive anti-litter campaign in a bid to combat what has been described as an out-of-control litter problem in the city.

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

Making reference to some business places which are not geared with waste receptacles, Stephens said that this practice has added significantly to the problem.

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

While some have been placed before the courts, Stephens stressed that there was still need to strengthen the process since the problem persisted despite Council's earnest efforts.

Yesterday's commencement of the campaign was also prompted by the imminent Cricket World Cup according to Stephens, noting that it is the desire of the Council to ensure that the city is viewed in a presentable manner by visitors.

Stephens stressed his optimism of the campaign's success as he outlined its proposed implementation for the next three weeks.

The campaign he noted 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. He noted, too, that it will include a public health aspect which will see environmental and vector control officers involved in identifying and eliminating mosquito breeding environs, as well as applying traps and chemical solutions to prevent rodents from accumulating in alarming numbers.

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

The exercise kicked off promptly at 08:00 hours.

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

The target area yesterday was Lacytown, which Stephens said is the central commercial area in the city. Armed with chemicals and other implements to carry out their duties the officials were divided into three groups as they ventured out to “take on the littering public”.

City Councillor Desmond Moses in lauding 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 in helping the council meet its objective by highlighting the various areas which may be prone to constant littering 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.

And, 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 traversed the Lacytown area as they sought out littering defaulters.

The solid waste team was 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 on 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 wrongdoing unless they are embarrassed.”

The campaign will continue on a daily business and after seven days an assessment will be conducted to determine its accomplishments and the funding needed to ensure its sustainability.