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Bags of garbage left at Mount Wynne after beach party event

Bags of garbage left at Mount Wynne after beach party event


Several Vincentian citizens have aired their concerns over a quantity of garbage left on the private side of Mt. Wynne beach after an event recently held there.{{more}}

A photograph posted on social networking site Face Book showed torn bags of garbage that were presumably left there after the ‘Bottlez and Bikiniz’ beach party that took place on Sunday, June 19.

The photograph was taken on Saturday, June 25.

One of the organisers of the event, Alex Barnwell, said that it was not intentional to leave behind any garbage at the beach, and it was not meant to “disrespect” the venue.

When SEARCHLIGHT contacted Barnwell on Monday, June 27, he said that he and his team were in the process of cleaning up the remaining garbage that had been strewn across the beach by wild/stray animals – and were doing so despite being unable to access the beach by vehicle, because the lock seems to have been changed.

He explained that he and his team had collected waste generated after the event on the same night, and bagged them to be collected by a private waste removal service that he had hired.

Barnwell claimed that members of the Special Services Unit, who provided security for the event, ensured that waste was placed in black garbage bags before the organising team left.

He further explained that when the private waste removal service arrived at Mt. Wynne beach the following day, it found that stray animals had bitten through several bags and dispersed the garbage along the beach.

As a result, they only removed the garbage bags that were still intact. When the removal service attempted to return to the beach another day, it found the gate to the venue locked; so, they were unable to attempt any further garbage retrieval.

Up to press time, SEARCHLIGHT was unable to contact Leslie ‘Cookie’ Durrant, who holds the keys to the venue, to verify whether the lock to the beach had been changed.

Barnwell said that when he was eventually made aware of the situation, it took him some time to organise another team of volunteers to help clean the beach again.

He acknowledged that the onus is on event organisers to make sure that the venues they use are cleaned properly after usage.

“At the end of the day… the responsibility is to put the place [back] to the way it was, or even better than you met it.”

Barnwell also mentioned that he spent $350 cleaning the venue in preparation for his event, because there were broken bottles and other waste products present on the beach from previous usage – and claims that he has photographs to prove this.

He also explained that he takes environmental issues seriously, and realises that improper waste disposal is a big problem in St. Vincent and the Grenadines; but that he is not one of the culprits who intentionally does so.

“Check my track record,” he asserted.

He said that in the past, he has been actively involved in clean-up campaigns, in collaboration with Karib Cable and Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA), among others.

Joan Ryan, public relations and marketing manager at CWSA, said that although the CWSA does not oversee the maintenance of the private Mt. Wynne beach, improper garbage disposal there and at other venues has a knock-on effect on the company’s function.

“We have a problem with people… particularly now, around Carnival time, and Christmas time,” she said.

She urged organisers to take due care in cleaning up venues after their events have taken place, as many forget to do so.

“Ensure that you have waste collection as part of your planning.”

Ryan also pointed out that organisers should pay garbage removers after they have completed the job and not before.

“If you pay the man before [he] completes the job, he can always half finish the job and then you’re in trouble.

She said that the garbage removers still had a responsibility to remove the remaining waste, and that the organisers “acted correctly” by returning to the beach to get rid of it.

However, Ryan countered that situations like this could be avoided if waste collected is removed “immediately after the event has taken place”.(JV)