PROSECUTION SEEMS TO BE THE KEY TO SOLVE ILLEGAL DUMPING

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Minister of the Environment, Elizabeth Thompson

 

 

Persons who engage in illegal dumping beware – you could soon find yourself before the law courts.

 

 

This warning has come today from Minister of the Environment, Elizabeth Thompson, following a tour of a number of gullies.

She said it was now time for the authorities to “get tough” with those who dump illegally across the island, especially since there was legislation on the statute books to address the problem. “I fear… that the only way to stop illegal dumping is to prosecute somebody because we have been speaking about it in public, we have been begging, urging and pleading and there has not been any behavioural change,” Ms. Thompson stated.

Also echoing these concerns was Acting Assistant Commissioner of Police, Morgan Greaves, who said: “The message I am sending to persons is that they should not dump illegally. My view is that until some person is charged for this type of crime and maybe imprisoned, people will stop and understand the seriousness of it.”

The officials toured illegal dump sites at Balls and Staple Grove Plantations, Christ Church; Blackman’s Bridge, St. Joseph; and Bucks Road, St. Thomas. Also on tour were officials from her department, the Royal Barbados Police Force (RBPF), as well as the Ministry of Health.

After the tour, Ms. Thompson said there would be a follow-up meeting with members of the RBPF “to define a strategy and a way forward to address the issue”.

Acting Assistant Commissioner Greaves said what he had seen at the sites was very disturbing and promised that the Force would work with all of the agencies to ensure that the laws pertaining to the environment were adhered to. He explained that this could include organising patrols and sending out island constables into the field.

During Environment Month celebrations in June this year, Minister Thompson expressed concern about the level of illegal dumping of domestic and commercial waste in Barbados. She said government was gravely worried, especially since it was not known if chemicals which could pose a threat to the drinking water supply were being dumped.

She stated that she was pleased with the Force’s expressed commitment in stamping out illegal dumping, and described the tour as timely, especially since the period was approaching when householders disposed of a number of items. She said she hoped the monitoring would occur during that time.

The Minister noted that persons were dumping garbage at Bucks, St. Thomas, although it was a mere five minutes away from the Mangrove Landfill. “It shows that this is a level of indiscipline and a level of what Barbadians will call pure worthlessness in the way the public is approaching the problem and we really have to address it,” she stated.

Discarded items included construction material, household appliances such as stoves, refrigerators and televisions; tyres and an old car.

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