Minister of Commerce and Small Business Development Donville Inniss has labelled as downright nastiness the practise of illegal dumping. And following the discovery of loads of discarded refuse at Bucks, St Thomas last week, he argued that the perpetrators should be made to “feel the full weight of the law”.
Inniss, who is also the Minister of Industry and International Business, has also stoutly defended Government’s recent introduction of the controversial $25 tipping fee, saying people have been dumping illegally for years, “tipping fee or no tipping fee”.
“It is just a reflection of people trying to take too many short cuts in this society and some people are just being plain damn nasty, not caring about their environment,” he told Barbados TODAY.
Under the current regulations, the Ministry of Health and not the Sanitation Service Authority can prosecute persons for illegal dumping and littering. Persons who are found guilty are subjected to a fine and even a prison sentence.
Inniss is therefore of the view that “anybody who is caught and found guilty of dumping in places like Bucks, as they did in gullies and water courses around this country, need to feel the full weight of the law and feel it urgently [and] not [be allowed to have their cases] drawn out in any court for three or five years.
“They need to be dealt with immediately, because what they are doing is placing the health of Barbadians at great risk,” said a passionate Inniss, a former Minister of Health.
A week ago Barbados TODAY uncovered the illegal dumping at Bucks, St Thomas, and later discovered that a trucker employed by Quality Business Services was paid to legally discard refuse on behlf of a number of business establishments and at least one householder, but chose instead to discard the items there.
To date, no action has been taken against the alleged offender even though an SSA team was forced to clear the area of tonnes of coconut shells, discarded television sets, refrigerators and plastic bags. There was also a foul stench in the area where chicken offal was reportedly dumped.
In the meantime, a scheduled meeting between the owner of Quality Business Services Ernest King and the Acting General Manager of the SSA Rosalind Knight has failed to materialize.
Inniss warned that those responsible for dumping outside a designated zone were “deliberately and maliciously” creating breeding grounds for rodents “and all sorts of other factors that can create public health risk to this country”, as well as potentially contaminate the island’s water supply.
The St James South MP, who has organized several clean up exercises in his constituency, said the matter of overgrown lots also needed to be urgently addressed, including several Crown lands.
“Some parts of Barbados look nasty and Barbadians must take greater pride in their surroundings. It is not just for Government to do it. It is not about [Minister of the Environment] Dr Denis Lowe or Donville Inniss or [Prime