Government has commenced discussions to implement harsher penalties for persons caught illegally disposing of large waste materials.
Minister responsible for waste management, Carvin Malone, said the government also has plans to install surveillance cameras to monitor select waste bins in the BVI.
In a recent interview with BVI News, Malone said the current penalties for illegal dumping are too small to be a deterrent to offending residents. He said these persons prefer to risk paying a fine when they abandon their derelict vehicles and other large waste by the roadway than to pay to have these waste items disposed of the right way.
“We are looking at the law to make sure that people are discouraged from just leaving their cars along the roadsides. Enforcing the law is one thing. I think the fines are another and we have to find ways to do it so they are truly discouraged,” the minister said.
“One of the things that we have been talking about is putting CCT cameras around some of the most violated areas where the bins have always been abused. So we have to look into all of the aspects so that we can send a clear message that you have a responsibility for safe disposal of your vehicles, construction material and garbage.”
Show some national pride
And while appealing to the general public to take national pride in their methods of waste disposal, Malone said government has done their part to make it easier for persons to properly dispose of larger waste materials.
“We have made provisions over and over for the transportation of derelict vehicles or vehicles that have been old in age to take them down to the Pockwood Pond site where we already have an agreement to transport all of the derelict vehicles and all of the materials in two areas that are now accepting them,” Malone said.
But despite these measures, Malone said some persons are still opting to be negligent in their disposal of waste.
“Folks have stripped vehicles and left them close to the garbage bins and left them in abandoned areas and it is not a good thing to do. It creates a lot of issues and I think that each citizen has a responsibility to keep these islands clean and as safe as they could.”
No date has been given as to when the waste management laws will be amended to come into effect. But, the minister has assured that the government is currently working to get it done as soon as possible.
“They are being examined more closely now than before. So I’m not sure if it would have made the 2019 budget. Because of the time frame left, we had to really adapt what was there. But, we are clearly trying to get it into the next budget cycle so we can then have this done. If it isn’t done before in terms of the urgency of it, well then it will have to go in terms of supplementary appropriation,” Minster Malone stated.
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