Litterbugs arrested, charged as M&CC intensifies campaign
There is always a need for a litter campaign in the city, but evidence of sustained callous dumping has caused the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) to up the ante.
Through its Constabulary Department, the municipality has been able to arrest and charge at least seven litterbugs who were caught in the act by Constabulary Officers.
However, according to Superintendent of Enforcement, Stephen Bailey, three persons have pleaded not guilty.
He has asserted, though, that those arrested and charged were caught in the act by officers both in uniform and plainclothes.
These officers have been staking out some strategic areas in Central Georgetown.
The major areas of intense littering, he noted, are along Regent Street and in the Stabroek and Bourda Market.
The intensified campaign was kicked into motion last Tuesday and comes in wake of observations that indiscriminate dumping has done nothing to help the integrity of the city’s drainage system following recent rainfalls.
“We have observed that water is being left on the land after the rainfalls and this we know is primarily because of the indiscriminate dumping of refuge by persons in the city be it residents or just visitors.”
He noted that the Constabulary is continually forced to enforce the bylaws of the city as it relates to littering.
“If you just walk outside you would see the amount of garbage because of the behaviour of the people in the city.”
The information coming from the relevant section is that the garbage and the stuff that are thrown into the system are clogging up the kokers and the sluices and these prevent the water from draining off the land. So we have decided to up the ante…”
In doing so, Bailey said that the Constabulary is looking and dealing with littering in its entirety, whether it is the casual disposal of a cigarette butt or a truck load of garbage.
And this, he said, will include close scrutiny of some business owners who are known to solicit the assistance of “junkies” to deposit their refuse indiscriminately around the city. “We are dealing with that because we know how to follow the lead…It starts with the junkies but with thorough, good and keen investigations we can know who the master minds are.”
In fact, he noted that business owners are responsible for the action of those they employ. He emphasised that the Constabulary is appealing to all those who operate in such manners to desist or feel the brunt of the law. “
“Anyone who is responsible or culpable we will go wherever our investigations take us and where necessary we will institute charges…we are not just targeting businesses but litterbugs in general,” Bailey asserted.
But even as the litter campaign is poised to impact the city in a significant way, Public Relations Officer, Royston King, disclosed yesterday that it is only a part of a wider campaign that has been engaged by the municipality.
He said that a public education and awareness programme to reduce the problem of litter is geared at addressing the extant disregard for the city which is due mainly to a heightened level of disregard on the part of some persons.
And this problem, he said, is evident in almost every community in the city where piles of non-biodegradable waste in the form of plastic and Styrofoam are dumped in drains, alleyways and canals.
Dubbed ‘Don’t Mess Up, Clean Up’, the public education campaign is intended to further inform residents of the consequence of their actions and will take on a multi-dimensional approach.
As such, the municipality will be soliciting the co-operation of various stakeholders, including Non-Government Organisations, the religious body, the sports fraternity and other citizens.
According to King, the municipality is desperately seeking the co-operation of the public to address the problem of littering in the face of rainfalls which could pose a daunting flooding threat to the city.