The Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) has managed to successfully achieve convictions on majority of the tickets issued for waste disposal offences brought to court in 2016. Of the 16 tickets issued by the SWMC, 11 achieved conviction, and all but one of their five remaining cases have also resulted into convictions since 2017 began. Operations officer in charge of Enforcement Randolph Browne told The SWMC Insider that fines were successfully issued to the offenders in the cases brought before the court. “The remaining five, we took those matters to the court. Three of them were disposed of and we have had a conviction where a gentleman was charged with the offence of transporting litter in a matter likely to scatter. He pleaded guilty and he was charged with a fine of $5000 to be paid in two weeks or a term of 20 weeks in prison,” Mr. Brown said. He disclosed that a lady who was charged with the same offense, paid the ticket after the allotted time. The court could still impose a heftier fine for paying late but chose to give her a warning.
Most of the offenders were charged with the offence of transporting litter in a manner likely to scatter. One such successful conviction was that of a resident in Cayon, who also was charged for failing to state his place of residence as prescribed by the Solid Waste Management Act 2009.
This offence mainly concerns the transportation of garbage. When persons do not take extra care to make sure the garbage they are transporting is not scattered while on the journey, this is an offense, which can lead to a ticket and upon conviction a fine or jail term. “The (garbage) are untied. Yes they are in the vehicle—the cab of the vehicle that does not mean that they can’t fall out (the vehicle),” Mr. Brown explained. “Sometimes you have those garbage above the railing of the cab…and that is why we are asking people to have (the bags) tied,” he added. The SWMC official further suggested using a rope and tarpaulin if necessary to tie the garbage in the vehicle to avoid spillage. “No longer can we continue just talking, talking and no action,” he declared.
For some, disposing garbage in a manner to scatter might seem like a frivolous offence for which to be fined so heavily by the court and the SWMC. Mr. Brown explained otherwise. He noted that scattered garbage from moving vehicles can end up in the sea; threatening marine life. He also believes scattered garbage can be a health hazard for especially children. This offense is no light matter, he noted. Fines can be from $500 and can go to a maximum of $20,000. Mr. Browne appealed to residents and persons to take better care when transporting garbage.