City’s solid waste management department ‘cracking down’ on litterbugs

In keeping with President Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali’s vision to transform the capital city into a scenic tourism destination, as well as to improve the sanitary and environmental conditions countrywide, the Solid Waste Management department of the city council has begun clamping down on persons guilty of littering.

This was disclosed during the nationwide cleanup exercise on Saturday last, by Director of Solid Waste Management, Walter Narine, who stated that the enforcement is being conducted in collaboration with the police.

Director of Solid Waste Management at the City Council, Walter Narine

“We have a police unit coming out here every day to arrest persons. Not only that, but you also have a lot of business people paying homeless people to dispose of their garbage. And as you know, that is a way of earning a living from them, so they just dispose of it anywhere,” Narine explained.

He noted that for January, some 27 persons were arrested, with one person sentenced to six months community service for the offense.

“So, this is a continuous exercise that we want not only city council, but civil society to be a part of. If you see somebody littering, you have to report it. We have our numbers out. Just call us, and we will ensure that they are arrested. We have to cut out this scourge in society, and we all have to be patriotic about where we’re living, and we have to become cognisant of the environment we live in,” he urged.

The director also addressed the issue of litter being thrown from public and private transportation, pointing out that when such an offense is committed, both the driver and offender are arrested.

And if the offender cannot be identified, the driver is arrested. As such, he urged drivers to ensure that their vehicles are equipped with receptacles to prevent passengers from littering.

Further, Narine stated that the department is looking to collaborate with the Ministry of Education, to conduct educational sessions in schools to emphasise the need for persons to refrain from littering, and educate children on the laws and penalties surrounding the offense.

He urged community leaders to also ensure that they correctly dispose of their waste and take responsibility for the appearance of their surroundings.

“We are proud Guyanese, and we need to care for our environment. We tend to blame everyone else, but as community leaders and community representatives, we can come out once a week, or once a month to clean up our environment. And I think if we start from the community level, these exercises will move on to more meaningful enhancement projects,” Narine stressed.