Basseterre, St. Kitts, July 13, 2020 (Solid Waste Management Corporation): The problem of illegal dumping continues to be a problem on St. Kitts. Recently, the Solid Waste Management Corporation (SWMC) was alerted by a resident of West Farm to an illegal dumping site in the West Farm Ghaut. The SWMC team was greeted by a strong stench emanating from the decomposing body of a goat found dumped in the heart of the garbage. The illegal dumpsite contained construction and household waste. “It’s not just ordinary garbage that the (garbage) truck would come around and collect. You could see that they were cleaning a house and dispose all their garbage,” observed Solid Waste Collections Manager Inita Lake
Garbage was also seen strewn next to the pathway to the dumping site, including old refrigerators, stoves television sets. She bemoaned the environmental hazard this garbage heap could cause, considering the waste was dumped into the Ghaut, literally blocking the waterway. “This is the mouth of the Ghaut and this is hurricane season. So in the event the water comes down, it is blocked and this can cause flooding,” the SWMC Collections Manager said. “This is bad, this is terrible…this is just not right.”
Ms. Lake is advising persons and businesses that contract garbage haulers not to pay them upfront until the garbage is delivered to the landfill and a receipt is produced to prove the garbage was indeed dumped at the landfill. “When you are hiring a hauler to take your garbage to the landfill, please do not pay them upfront because it appears that people are taking money to dispose the goods and they carry them in the grass, in the bushes, in the hills and take the people’s money and they don’t take them to the landfill or bring back a receipt. What we are saying is if you are going to hire a hauler, make sure that they take the items to the landfill then bring back the receipt and you reimburse them,” she explained. She added that if evidence is found linking anyone to an illegal dumpsite, that person will be held liable.
The SWMC official suspects that the garbage was done by a hauler who would have been paid to dump the garbage at the landfill. She said the challenges with illegal dumpsites is that it harbors further dumping as persons seeing such garbage will continue dumping there, and this is wrong. She warned of serious consequences if the perpetrators are caught dumping garbage in areas other than the landfill.