Litter wardens to enforce litter laws

THE TRADEWINDS – Boyhood Days

Litter wardens to enforce litter laws

Demerara Waves – Saturday, 15 September 2012

The coastal cleanup exercise in full swing at the Georgetown Seawall.

Poor in-land waste disposal and collection, mainly in Georgetown, continues to spill over on to Guyana’s Atlantic seashore, partly due to no one policing the anti-litter laws- something authorities hope to soon correct by deploying litter wardens.

Enforcement of the litter laws was made known by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Environment, Joslyn Mc Kenzie told Demerara Waves Online News (www.demwaves.com) during a clean-up exercise on the Georgetown seawall as part of Guyana’s participation in International Coastal Clean Up.                

The wardens would be deployed in several coastal communities and Georgetown to work closely with the regions, neighbourhood and town councils. “Persons could actually be fined for dumping garbage at various places and is all part of the wider plan with the Georgetown Solid Waste Management Project,” Mc Kenzie.

A consultation would be held to discuss the idea of litter wardens. Under the Environmental Protection Act, two types of litter offences could fetch fines of between GUY$10,000 and GUY$50,000 and GUY$30,000 and GUY$80,000.

During the cleanup that stretched from behind Pegasus Hotel to Camp Street, representatives from the Lions, Peoples Progressive Party (PPP), University of Guyana and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) collected and documented the types of solid waste.

EPA’s Director of Education and Information, Sharifah Razack said Guyana is not this year required to send the data to Ocean Conservancy but her organisation intends to use it to guide policy makers in crafting strategies.

Asked what steps have been taken by the EPA to enforce litter laws, Razack said the only available option was public education and awareness because of a lack of manpower to enforce litter laws. “You would recognize that the EPA does not have the human capacity to do the kind of policing that would be required out here so unfortunately we haven’t been able to catch people littering,” she told DemWaves.

She also suggested that more receptacles be placed around the seawall area and encourage vendors to practice good waste disposal.

Among the items collected Saturday during the coastal cleanup were glass and plastic bottles, plastic wrappers, old pieces of wood and rubber.

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