The ugly impact of Government’s $25 per tonne tipping fee has become evident in the dirtiest of ways.
When a team from Barbados TODAY visited Bucks, St Thomas yesterday, the unsightly evidence was strewn everywhere along the isolated roads in the rural district.
There were coconut shells, discarded television sets, refrigerators, plastic bags of every colour; and the foul stench of decaying meat and other food items made it difficult to breathe.
There was even evidence of who the dumpers might be, written on barrels that were no longer of use to the importers.
Barbados TODAY reached householder O’Brian Blackett whose name was written on one of the barrels. The St Peter resident said he paid a trucker last Saturday to dispose of the container, including petrol cost and the tipping fee.
“I wanted to dispose of it legitimately,” Blackett said, insisting he did not get involved in illegal dumping.
In September Parliamentary Representative for St Thomas Cynthia Forde toured the area with a team from Barbados TODAY to point out evidence of illegal dumping. She did not accompany the team today, but she was no less angry when advised of the horrid and unpleasant mess.
“I am appalled, disappointed and angry at this type of behaviour by persons who claim to be intelligent,” Forde said.
Forde recalled that she tried on three occasions to get Government’s environmental protection officers to visit Bucks, and that officers of the Environmental Protection Department had made an assessment of the illegal dumping and subsequently cleared the entire area in September last year.
She slammed those responsible for the illegal dumping, pointing fingers at truckers in particular, who she claimed were seeking to circumvent the tipping fee.
“I am appalled to learn that more garbage has been dumped there this week to contaminate the communities. It is so unfortunate that as educated people we still have a number of villains, particularly the truckers. There are business people who are paying truckers to take garbage to the Mangrove Landfill and unfortunately the garbage is being dumped in isolated areas. Where is the pride of those Barbadians who are taking a shortcut to destroy the lives of others? I think it is unreasonable to ask a Government to come and clean up for people who are making money.”
Forde promised to pay another visit to the area tomorrow morning to do an assessment of the situation before contacting the Ministry of the Environment and the Ministry of Health. She suggested that if the practise continued Government would have no alternative but to close the road. However, the outspoken parliamentarian warned that unscrupulous truckers would simply find another isolated area to dump their refuse.
Today, fingers were being pointed at a private hauler who is known to pick up both hotel and household waste. However, the chief spokesman of the Waste Haulers Group Charles Read said he did not believe his group was involved.
“My expectation is that nobody from my Waste Haulers Group would be dumping in Bucks or anywhere for that matter.
“I am aware that personnel from the Sanitation Service Authority do a lot of monitoring in the Bucks area. That Butts Road has been a haven for illegal dumping for years,” he said.
Read suggested that individuals who retained the services of truckers to dump their garbage should ensure that it is taken to the designated location.
Minister of the Environment Dr Dennis Lowe could not be reached tonight, however, he has spoken in the past of finding a solution to the tipping fee problem.