GCCI calls on City Hall to prosecute businesses caught littering

…calls for harsher penalties for businesses & citizens alike

While pictures of heaps of garbage on the city streets have been prominent on social media, the prosecution of businesses for littering has been far less prominent. But the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and Industry (GCCI) is urging City Council to change this.
On Wednesday, the GCCI noted the harm that littering causes to the environment. It further noted that the Georgetown Mayor and City Council has a responsibility for solid waste and timely garbage collection.
The Chamber urged businesses in Georgetown to properly dispose of garbage and highlighted the garbage build-up on Regent, Robb, and Charlotte Streets. At the same time, it called on the Mayor and City Council to impose harsher penalties on businesses and individuals who litter.
“GCCI encourages citizens and business owners to refrain from dumping garbage in the roadways and drains. There must be zero tolerance for individuals and businesses who contribute to littering… littering not only negatively impacts the environment, but poses serious health risks that a population of our size cannot afford.
“The Chamber urges the Mayor and City Council to impose harsher penalties on businesses and residents who dispose of their garbage indiscriminately. Concurrently, the Chamber requests the Mayor and City Council acknowledge their responsibility for ensuring timely garbage collection,” GCCI noted, adding that this would deprive persons of using late garbage collection as an excuse.
Local Government and Regional Development Minister Nigel Dharamlall had previously noted that stiffer penalties were not needed, but rather an enforcement of existing laws. In fact, Dharamlall had directly called out City Hall.
“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,” Dharamlall had said.
The matter of garbage disposal takes on added meaning since it is not only the Christmas season, but the middle of the rainy season. Guyana recently had its third National Enhancement Exercise where stakeholders – including Government Ministers and President Dr Irfaan Ali himself – conduct massive clean-up campaigns.
Public Works Minister Juan Edghill had urged citizens to practice responsible waste disposal during the Christmas season, as the Government continues its efforts to ensure a cleaner, greener Guyana. Minister Edghill was at time overlooking the massive clean-up efforts at the Stabroek Market Square, Georgetown.
“I want to make a special appeal to citizens, whether there is organised leadership or not, let’s clean up. Christmas is coming and at a household level people normally do a lot of cleaning. One of the things we don’t want to happen is when you clean up your households, you bring the old chair, the old fridge and the old stove and put it back on the parapet that we are cleaning up right now,” he had said. (G3)