Following quickly on the heels of the Litter Control and Prevention Act coming into effect last week, Indira James – Environmental Implementation Coordinator within the Ministry of Health, Wellness and the Environment – said the date has been set for the first training session for litter wardens.
On April 30th, persons serving as ex-officio litter wardens will be trained on how to fully implement the new law and how to interact with the public.
“It is the government using the resources and the technicians it has, ensuring that we are aware of the different programmes, mannerisms, the Act – how to enact it, how to approach persons. The 15 appointed litter wardens that will be around St. John’s also will be trained,” James told reporters during a press conference on Tuesday.
She said these ex-officio wardens will include “senior personnel of [National Solid Waste Management Authority], environmental officers, forestry officers, police, ONDCP, parliamentarians, traffic wardens, various persons within the community division, the community health officers, tourism cadets and tourism officers.”
She also said that litter wardens are not expected to add more staff to the Ministry, but appointments will be made from within the current staff.
“For the technicians, it is an added duty on our list of duties. We are all in the field of environmental safety and well-being; it is part of our job,” she said.
Meanwhile, Minister of Health Molwyn Joseph said he had received reports of illegal dumping of trash over the Easter weekend, and promised to use the new Litter Act to aggressively go after individuals found guilty of littering.
“Over the holidays, I received some videos of illegal dumping and we have photographs of trucks and the licence and registrations and I can assure the public that we will use the current Act to apply the necessary sanction on those culprits,” he asserted.
The Litter Control and Prevention Act, which was passed by Parliament in February 2019, repealed the previous Litter Act that was originally passed in 1983 and amended in 2004.