(SWMC) An appeal is once again being made to persons in the community who have been dumping garbage illegally in cane fields and other plots of land around the country, to desist from this act. That call comes from Operations Officer Valentine Heyliger after a recent visit to Needsmust where several illegal dumping sites were unearthed, highlighting the gravity of the problem. “Persons tend to come here late evening, early morning, maybe on public holidays when there isn’t much back and forth and they dump their stuff illegally on the aquifer. This is where a lot of the water that we use in Basseterre is stored (underground). These persons are committing some really terrible offences,” Mr. Heyliger said. “The garbage truck comes to all areas once per week; there is no reason for you to dump your stuff in here.”
One site had several types of garbage including construction waste, E-waste such as an old VHS tape, VCR recorder and television and white goods such as a stove and refrigerator. Another dumpsite not too far away contained a bed mattress with its base stacked among trash and other household waste. He explained the process of disposing construction waste. “Once you go to the landfill, you’re charged $15 per ton…construction waste is one of the lowest (charged) rate at the landfill, for obvious reason. It’s heavier than the other rates of garbage so the rate is only $15 per ton. Regular garbage is $54 per ton,” Heyliger explained, adding that the computer at the landfill tabulates the charge for disposal. To dispose E-waste or white goods, the cost is only $5. “Hire a hauler. He should charge you at least maybe $40. It only cost you $5 when you reach at the landfill: $5 for a stove a fridge, a washing machine, a mattress,” he said. He reiterated the importance for persons who hire haulers to dispose waste, to be presented with a computer generated receipt from the landfill to indicate that the garbage was indeed disposed of at the landfill. “A lot of the stuff that we are seeing here, they don’t biodegrade. They stay here for a long time,” Mr. Heyliger said of the pitfalls of illegally dumping garbage in such areas. He also cautioned that persons caught can be fined initially $500, which could be increased to between $5000 and $20,000 if persons refuse to pay the initial fee.