Enforcement, not higher fines needed to curb littering in G/Town – Dharamlall

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With proposed fines for littering in the City of Georgetown awaiting approval, Local Government Minister Nigel Dharamlall believes that enforcement of existing fines should first be done before higher fines are adopted.

In November 2021, the Mayor and City Council of Georgetown (M&CC) approved new bylaws to increase the fines for littering; however, those fines are yet to be approved by Dharamlall, as is required.

During a press conference on Friday, the Local Government Minister reminded that laws to curb littering already exist, however, there is a failure by the M&CC to enforce those measures.

“The problem that we have with City Hall… is that they are not implementing or enforcing the current punitive measures against littering and against the wanton disposal of garbage in the drains and on the streets of Georgetown,” Dharamall said.

He believes City Hall has invested limited resources toward the enforcement of solid waste management in Georgetown.

He noted that the Central Government through the ministries of Local Government and Regional Development, Public Works and Agriculture is left to provide the necessary resources to keep the city clean.

Minister of Local Government and Regional Development, Nigel Dharamalall at contract signing (Photo: DPI/ May 24, 2022)

“What they’re proposing is to impose greater fees and it is not the imposition of the fees that will change the dynamics of the ground, it is actually getting the work done,” Dharamlall said.

City Hall had reasoned that the current fines are outdated and minuscule and believed that higher fines can serve as a deterrent to littering and an encouragement for enforcement.

As part of the new bylaws, proposed by the M&CC, a first offence would carry a fine of $10,000, a second offence $20,000 and a third offence no less than $35,000 but no more than $500,000.

However, under the Environmental Protection (Litter Enforcement) Regulations 2012 the penalty for committing the offence of depositing litter in a public place is a fine on summary conviction of $50,000 in case of an individual and $100,000 in case of a company.

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