Public Health Communications Specialist
Ministry of Health/Social Development
A sting operation to curb the improper transportation of waste was conducted last week by the Department of Waste Management and the Royal Virgin Islands Police Force.
The operation was carried out on April 24 in the vicinity of the Incinerator at Pockwood Pond as part of efforts to change how waste is handled in the Virgin Islands.
Manager at the Waste Management Department, Mr. Greg Massicote stated that the sting operation was intended to send a clear message that the time has come for the changing of poor litter habits.
Mr. Massicote said, “Too often we witness the uncovered transportation of waste which contributes to roadside litter and also creates hazardous conditions for vehicles and pedestrians. The time has come where persons who decide to blatantly disobey the law must pay for their actions.”
The Litter Abatement Act (2004) and Amendments (2007) states that it is an offence if litter is transported in a manner to be scattered or is likely to be scattered in a public place while it is being transported.
Massicote issued a challenge to residents and businesses to be aware and be responsible. He added that there has been an increase in waste management malpractices which include illegal dumping, depositing of bulky waste around residential bins and the uncovered transportation of waste.
The Royal Virgin Islands Police Force partnered in the operation by assigning an officer to assist in ensuring that ticketed persons were compliant while in the presence of the Litter Warden.
This is the second sting operation since the re-implementation of the Litter Warden Programme in January 2015 which also reintroduced the ability to ticket individuals.
As a result of the sting operation, a total of 20 tickets were issued for the offence of the transportation of uncovered waste. Individuals who were ticketed will have 21 days in which to pay a fine of $150 to the Magistrate’s Court. Failure to pay by the deadline will result in legal action being taken against the offenders.
The Waste Management Department Manager said that following the sting operation, there was an immediate change in the way waste haulers transported their garbage. Mr. Massicote promised that similar operations will be conducted until there is complete compliance and cooperation.
The Department of Waste Management is asking the community to assist by reporting all manner of littering and illegal dumping to the Department of Waste Management. Persons are encouraged to provide the name of the offender, vehicle description and license plate number, if known. The department’s telephone number is 468-4934 and email address is DWM@gov.vg.
The Department of Waste Management is committed to ensuring that the natural beauty of the Territory is enhanced by utilising state of the art waste management technology to ensure timely collection, disposal, and where possible, the recycling of waste.