Anti-litter wardens hit MoBay Streets - *……offenders to face stiff fines for breaches*
Montego Bay's vexing litter problem could soon become a thing of the past as the
St James Parish Council has kept its promise to deploy litter wardens on the streets of the western city as part of its anti-litter/beautification campaign.
In an interview with Western Focus earlier this week, Montego Bay's mayor, Glendon Harris, said whereas the deployment did not come with fanfare, four anti-litter personnel, including a supervisor, are now patrolling the streets of the tourist capital.
According to the mayor, the wardens have undergone necessary training, done in partnership with the National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA), and are out scouting and surveying areas, which were being used as unauthorised dump sites.
"We know that gentle persuasion has not worked, and it seems that it is only enforcement that will work here," said Mayor Harris, outlining the rationale behind the anti-litter initiative.
"We are revving up some efforts here in Montego Bay and we will be cleaning up those mini dump sites, and take the necessary steps to ensure we do not have any more dump sites in and around the city," the mayor added.
While the ordinary man on the street is now firmly on the radar of the wardens, the mayor said local business operators involved in the improper dumping of garbage will also be targeted.
"For commercial garbage, you cannot have the domestic garbage collectors picking up those," the mayor said. "You are supposed to enter into your own contract with an approved entity, be it the NSWMA, or any other, to collect your garbage."
The mayor, who is also chairman of the St James Parish Council, said businesses caught disposing of garbage in an illicit manner will be fined $10,000 for the first offence. There will be a $500,000 charge for repeat offenders. For individuals in breach, they will be fined a minimum $2,000 for the first offence and, similar to business entities, an increased sum for a repeat of the offence.
The mayor noted that, going forward, another four anti-litter wardens will be employed to complement the current team. He also stated that three motorcycles are to be purchased, through funding from the Tourism Enhancement Fund (TEF) to complement the effort, which includes ensuring that garbage bins are not stolen.