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Ryan wants littering laws enforced

Ryan wants littering laws enforced

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Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) official Joan Ryan says that she would like to see more priority given to environmental offences.{{more}}

Speaking to SEARCHLIGHT on Tuesday, January 25, the Public Relations Officer and Marketing Manager of the CWSA said that she would like to see more involvement by the relevant authorities when littering and solid waste dumping laws are broken, as they are in other areas.

“I would like to see this take off the way the No Bottle Policy and the seatbelt issue took off.”

“I believe that it took off because the police were directly involved…. I know that all police officers are not aware of their role and responsibility as it relates to waste management and litter.”

Ryan indicated that because of this, the CWSA intends to work with the Royal St. Vincent and the Grenadines Police Force in that area, as they had done in previous times.

Ryan pointed out that there are two pieces of legislation that guide the relevant authorities as to their duties when it comes to waste management and disposal.

“We have the Litter Act that is actually under the Public Health Department, that makes provision for the police, public health officers, forestry officers and port health officers to deal with waste management infractions.”

“If an officer of the law catches you dumping, they can lock you up and charge you directly.”

“We also have the Solid Waste Management Act which also makes provision… for you to be served a notice and given time to correct a measure.”

Ryan said that the claim of many persons that there are not enough garbage receptacles around Kingstown is just an excuse for individuals ‘not to do the right thing.’

She said that persons need to look at what their littering and improper waste disposal is causing on a national scale.

“No matter how many garbage bins we have around town, it is still going be a problem. I have seen people standing next to a garbage bin and still drop their garbage on the ground.”

“We have to attack the mindsets of people. They have to see how disposal of their garbage directly affects their health and their recreation; what happens when the garbage goes down in our rivers and on our beaches etc.”

“Just recently Sandy Bay had a clean up campaign, and they pulled out several truck loads out of up there.”

Ryan said that her institution will be involved in a number of awareness exercises over the next two years, which includes school visits, radio programs and use of their mascot ‘Gabby’.

“Throughout St. Vincent and the Grenadines there is excessive littering and garbage dumping taking place, so it is a concern for us…. Littering and dumping is an offence.”(JJ)

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