Many of the long-awaited bins which form part of the government’s plans to enhance the appearance of the city were installed in St. John’s yesterday.
The Minister of Health and the Environment, Molwyn Joseph, and other workers from his ministry took to the streets to install the high-tech bins.
The initiative has been undertaken in relation to the Litter Control and Prevention Act which was passed in February of this year.
Minister Joseph told OBSERVER media he is certain the bins will make a big difference in the country with regard to littering.
He believes that just as people were willing to conform to the bans on plastic shopping bags and Styrofoam food containers, Antiguans and Barbudans will have an appreciation for what has been done to safeguard the environment.
Joseph warned that destruction of the bins, in any way, will result in a minimum fine of $500 for those responsible.
In addition to fines for vandalizing or sabotaging the bins, the Act also makes provision for even larger fines – and even jail time – for littering.
The maximum fine is $15,000 if the offence is committed by a business.
The Bill further empowers litter wardens to initiate criminal proceedings against offenders. According to the Health Minister, the plan is to hire at least 15 persons to serve as litter wardens.
Minister Joseph added that the bins, which are equipped with recycling compartments, will be emptied twice per day to prevent any overflow of garbage.