October 15, 2010
Residents of Paul’s Avenue tired of garbage in street

Residents of Paul’s Avenue are crying shame that their neighbourhood is being used as garbage dump and are calling on the Solid Waste Management Unit (SWMU) to address the situation urgently.{{more}}

According to Denise Wilson, a resident of the area, the garbage truck comes around at 5 pm every evening to pick up garbage dumped at the rear of the Bryden and Sprotts building, but by 6am the next morning, more garbage is placed in the very area by workers of the Public Health Department. Wilson said when she confronted the workers about it, she was told that their supervisor instructed them to put the garbage there.

She said that because of the trend set by the sanitation workers, other persons dispose their personal garbage there, making the situation worse. Besides plastics and other residential waste, persons have even disposed of dead animals and white goods there.

Wilson, the person who lives closest to the dump, said that the stench from the garbage is at times too much to bear, causing her to have to close her house most of the time. She said she has even had to drink aloes to ‘clean out’.

She said the situation, which has been going on for several months, besides being a health hazard, is also negatively affecting the shop she operates nearby, as her customers can no longer sit and have a comfortable drink there. According to Wilson, the garbage also finds its way into the shop, causing her extra work.

The frustrated woman and others in the area are calling on the authorities to address the situation, and ask if it would have been allowed to go on for as long as it has, had it been an area such as Villa or Cane Garden.

When contacted by SEARCHLIGHT, Public Relations Officer and Manager of Marketing at the Central Water and Sewerage Authority (CWSA) Joan Ryan told SEARCHLIGHT that the Public Health Department (PHD) cleans the drains in that area early every morning between six and seven o’clock. The workers, she said, remove debris from the drains and place it at the side of the road for collection. A truck from the SWMU of the CWSA is supposed to pick up this waste, she said. The problem is, at present, the drains are cleaned at a time when the truck is unable to facilitate a collection.

Ryan said the Solid Waste Unit hears the cries of residents, and they are trying to work out a solution with the PHD so that cleaning of the drains can be synchronized with the collection of waste, bearing in mind the number of areas the single truck has to cover.

She emphasized that most areas in and around Kingstown are cleaned on a weekly basis, but Paul’s Avenue and a few other areas are cleaned and have their garbage collected on a daily basis.

Ryan said that from her observation, the quantity of debris removed from the drains early in the morning, on a daily basis is small enough to be taken away in two wheelbarrows. However, by the end of the day, the pile of garbage is usually much larger, supporting Wilson’s claim that other persons use the site as a dump.

Ryan has called for the cooperation of the residents and advises that they should let the SWMU know if anyone is seen dumping garbage in the area.

“I wish to emphasize the importance of community participation in ensuring that the area is kept clean at all times. It is expected that the public will not throw garbage in that area, and if anyone witnesses persons dumping garbage in that vicinity, they should notify the Public Health Department which is the agency mandated with the responsibility for dealing with Public Health complaints,” the PRO said.

Ryan said that in the past, the SWMU has successfully initiated cleanup of several areas throughout this country where chronic dumping took place.

“We were able to do this because the communities came on board and took responsibility alongside us. There are a lot more problems of illegal dumping and littering throughout our country and we again appeal to the public to be responsible in their waste disposal practices and their vigilance in ensuring that other persons desist from illegal dumping and littering.