By Elesha George
The National Solid Waste Management Authority (NSWMA) continues to clamp down on illegal dumpers, some of whom have already been penalised by the court system.
The most recent charge was against Leroy Campbell, also known by his alias “Lyrics Man”. Campbell pleaded guilty to the offence and was ordered to pay $3,000 by Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh and also to clean up the area. If he fails to pay the money, Campbell will be imprisoned for six months.
According to the NSWMA’s Marketing and Education Officer, Sheri Williamson, the man was caught on January 24 by a solid waste employee emptying his truck on Burma Road.
“He basically offloaded two truckloads of wild kin grass in the area. So, there was an investigation and he was issued a cleanup order,” she noted.
The man, however, did not fully comply with the order.
“He started cleaning the area and when he left to dispose what he had already taken up [but] he never returned. After later making contact, he gave an excuse that he had issues with the backhoe, which wasn’t true. He was given multiple opportunities thereafter to show up and finish cleaning the area but was a no-show,” Williamson explained.
When the case was brought before Magistrate Walsh on Tuesday, Williamson said the NSWMA had enough evidence to prove its case. Evidence was given by the employee who witnessed the act as well as by the litter warden who went to assess the scene.
Campbell pleaded guilty to the offence.
The NSWMA works alongside the Antigua & Barbuda Transport Board to identify people who dump their garbage in illegal sites around the country.
There are other cases of littering pending in the courts. More investigation is needed to try those cases and Williamson said although it sometimes takes a bit of time, that is to ensure that they have the necessary facts so that there is sufficient evidence to prove guilt.
The public also plays a big role by reporting these incidences, which Williamson said goes a long way in helping to identify perpetrators.
Persons have the option of calling or sending videos and pictures to the Litter Control and Prevention hotline, 727-2567. They can also call the NSWMA hotline at 562-1347.