Stall owners and vendors are demanding the Government tackle a stinking mountain of garbage at the Fairchild Street Market site that attracts illicit dumpers.
But the mini-‘Mount Stinkeroo’ not only earned the ire of the market’s users but brought out the Minister for the Environment Trevor Prescod, senior civil servants – and a clean-up crew from the Sanitation Service Authority today.
Armed with skid-steer loader and two trucks the SSA sought to clear the mess – discarded household items, food containers and cardboard boxes, even disused appliances.
And the people who make the market their place of business accuse previous and current administrations of turning a blind eye to the problem.
Irate business owners called on Government to take serious action against people who use the demolished market as a dumping ground in order to avoid paying the tipping fee for proper disposal of their refuse.
“People does come from all over the place and dump their garbage. Just last night one man came here with a grey Suzuki (jeep) and dumped a whole heap of fridges and when people tried to talk to him he start cursing,” said one bar owner, who referred to herself only as Janice.
“Trucks does come here and dump things because they don’t want to pay the tipping fee. This is just nasty and Government need to install some cameras around here so that they could catch some people and make them pay. This is downright nasty and it is years now that we suffering with this problem and it takes months before [SSA] comes,” said another stall owner, who did not want to be identified.
But Prescod said it was therefore unfair to blame the SSA for the lack of garbage removal because the market has a private contractor for garbage disposal which uses a skip to retain refuse.
The Minister also warned that Government is considering stiffer penalties for persons who use the market as a dumping ground.
“This skip belongs to a private hauler and it is not the Government department that is responsible for having the skip here and it is not the Sanitation Service Authority that is responsible for the accumulation of garbage. The reality is that when that skip on more than one occasion becomes full, the private hauler moves it but leaves all the garbage that overflowed and accumulated around the skip,” said Prescod, as he oversaw the unsightly mound with top officials from his ministry and the SSA.
And the Minister revealed the possible implementation of garbage separation in homes for recycling and other alternative waste disposal.
“If we try to use moral suasion in the months ahead and we discover that society is not responding then we would have to use the legislature in order to use that muscle. We came into office and realized that a lot of these deficiencies existed in the system,” he stressed. (CM)