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Large fines for illegal dumping

Large fines for illegal dumping

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The greatest enemy of the Solid Waste Management Unit seems to be the “don’t care attitude” of the people who continually dump garbage throughout the country.

But this nonchalant behaviour may soon be rooted out with the implementation of fines and jail sentences in an effort to catch litterbugs.{{more}}

According to Manager of the Solid Waste Management Unit, Winsbert Quow, a person caught dumping illegally would get a $5,000 fine and a six-month jail term, while a company caught in the act of illegal disposal will be slapped with a $75,000 fine.

Quow noted that these regulations are in the 2000 Act, which will soon be brought before parliament to be implemented into law.

The engineer, however, believes that the unit has made tremendous strides over the years and encouraged people to remember what the country looked like before the Solid Waste Unit was established in 1999.

Quow reminisced, “Vincentians must remember how untidy the view was when they peeked out from their aeroplane window to see the Arnos Vale dumpsite.”

He continued, “The Solid Waste Management Unit closed that site in 2003 and has since established a landfill at Diamond in 2002 and another at Belle Isle in 2005. Now if you look down from a plane you no longer see garbage.”

Despite disposal challenges, the manager believes that the country is still clean and mentions that this sentiment is consistently expressed by people who visit the country. He said that with the growth in the tourism sector Vincentians should ensure that the country can be marketed as one of the cleanest in the Caribbean.

While stating that the majority of Vincentians cared about the cleanliness of their surroundings, he noted that the stringent rules were implemented to catch the few culprits who showed a lack of concern for their environment.

Meanwhile, Public Relations Manager of the unit, Joan Ryan, has credited the positive attitude change among Vincentians to the extensive environmental campaign conducted by the unit.

Ryan said that although the use of the print and electronic media was expensive, it was effective, since more and more people were becoming conscious of the environment.

She also noted that in their effort to target children before they grew up, the Solid Waste mascot “Gabby” will be used to spread the message of a clean environment.

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