General Manager of the Sanitation Service Authority (SSA) Roslyn Knight is expressing frustration at repeated indiscriminate and illegal dumping.
Garbage lining the streets, blowing across the beach or clinging to wire fencing is becoming a normal occurrence here.
And the problem with illegal dumping became worse in mid-2015, with private waste haulers blaming Government’s controversial tipping fee.
It is now not unusual to see coconut shells, used tyres, the skeletal remains butchered animals, burnt plastic bottles, rubble from construction sites, withered shrubs and discarded barrels posing an unsightly view in some districts.
“We just had 50 years of Independence, why are we still dumping illegally? Why are we dumping indiscriminately? Why are you going to dump indiscriminately like that when you know the effect it can have on your environment and people’s health?” Knight complained.
Her comments came in response to a concerned resident of Vaucluse, St Thomas who contacted Barbados TODAY regarding garbage, including coconut shells and old appliances, he had found in Vaucluse and Dukes, St Thomas.
“It is lawless, irresponsible and I think that people who engage in it don’t care. It’s like not caring for your fellow man. It’s silly to be doing it because you don’t know how it would affect you,” the resident said.
Knight contended that dumping was condoned culturally, and pleaded with Barbadians to act responsibly and refrain from indiscriminately disposing of their waste.
Coconut vendors operating on the highways are among the suspected culprits, with Knight pointing out that the numbers from the Sustainable Barbados Recycling Centre where shells ought to be disposed every other week are not adding up when compared to daily sales.
One of the worst-affected districts is Bucks, St Thomas which the SSA is challenged to clear of rubbish virtually every week.
The problem there has become so acute that Member of Parliament Cynthia Forde has, in the past, invited the media to see the unsightly mess, which included old couches, deep freezers, solar panels and coconut shells.
“It is really heart-wrenching to see that all of a sudden that Bucks, St Thomas is now becoming a dumping ground for irresponsible truckers. It is so sad that Barbadians have been fortunate to benefit from free education and free health services for quite some years now, yet the education seems not to be touching those of us who believe that the quickest way to dispose of their garbage is on other people’s property, not considering what the repercussions would be,” Forde said during one such media visit.
Knight stressed that public education and strictly enforced legislation were necessary to prevent indiscriminate dumping.
She said the SSA had not previously been made aware of the latest disposal at Vaucluse, but it would investigate the matter.