The City of Hamilton has launched a multi-faceted campaign aimed at cracking down on illegal dumping in the City.
The campaign includes the installation of lighting and signage in frequent dumping areas, an intense public information drive, andthe creation of a designated phone line and email address for members of the public to report illegal dumping.
The campaign will focus on mitigating illegal dumping in the City, as well as highlighting the proper methods for waste disposal and fostering awareness for the safety of the City’s sanitation workers.
City CEO Dwayne Caines said the campaign was in response toa recent increase in illegal dumping over the past few months.
“Each day the City collects 15 tons of trash from Hamilton’s streets,” Mr. Caines said. “But not all of it was put here legally; our City Sanitation Workers are finding more and more that the trash they’re picking up began its journey OUTSIDE of the City. It should be noted that the dumping of trash which does not originate from within the City is illegal and violates the Waste & Litter Control Act 1987.
“Each year the City spends thousands of dollars to combat illegal dumping – money that could go towards City programs, events and services…and we’ve had enough.
“We’ve researched various approaches which have proven successful in other jurisdictions and cherry-picked those which we believe will work best in Bermuda. We will be actively trying to catch offenders. We will push for prosecution. We will seek public assistance in identifying offenders by sharing CCTVfootage of culprits across our social media accounts. And wewill name and shame those offenders when they are caught.”
Illegally dumped trash is not only an eyesore for the affected area, but it can also:
Mr. Caines said, “This behaviour is not only illegal but irresponsible. City businesses and residents that pay City taxes abide by a collection schedule and use City-issued wheelie bins so that their refuse is secured, and the safety and health of the community and collection crews are not compromised. It’s simply not fair to them to have trash dumped literally on their doorstep – attracting vermin, making the area unsightly and providing an incubator for germs and diseases.
“This City is not only where people come to go to work or buy goods – it’s home to hundreds of individuals. They wouldn’t come and dump trash in your backyard, so why would somepeople think it’s okay to dump it in theirs?”
Not only are City sanitation workers discovering illegally dumped bags of household waste, but there is also a worrying increase in dumped medical waste, industrial waste, horticultural waste and old appliances and furnishings.
To help deal with this problem, the City has created special warning notices which will be affixed to any property in Hamilton found in violation of the Waste & Litter Control Act 1987, and addressed to the property owner and/or occupant.Offences include placing garbage out at the incorrect time, contaminated recycling, inappropriate waste placed in the trash, and not utilizing City wheelie bins correctly or at all, among other offences.
The City reminds City businesses and residents that wheelie bins are available for purchase by calling the City at 292-1234. There are 120 L, 240 L, 360 L and 1100 L size bins for purchase.
The City is urging the public to report illegal dumping by callingthe newly-established tipline 279–5250 or emailing email@example.com. You will be asked to indicate the specific location of the illegal dumping offence, the date and time of the offence, as well as any identifiable information about those persons committing the offence. You may leave your name and contact information if you wish, or you can choose to leave an anonymous message on the phone line, which is an unmanned number that links to a mailbox.
The City also wishes to remind the public that, according to the Act, household trash does NOT include “furniture or any household appliance; or the product of gardening or horticulture.” These items must be disposed of accordingly. Bulky refuse collection within Hamilton (e.g. appliances, computers, furniture) is done by appointment only with the City’s Assistant Sanitation Supervisor who can be contacted at 504-8261. The City will only collect small loads at the discretion of the Sanitation Supervisor. Customers must make their own arrangements for larger loads. No hazardous materials, garden foliage or construction materials will be collected under any circumstances. A full City refuse collection schedule can be found here.
Those who dump these items on City streets outside of these stipulations are committing an offence and are liable to a fine.
Mr. Caines added, “It is imperative that we all do our part to keep the City clean and safe for the well–being of all. If you can dump it in the City, you can dump it at Tynes Bay. A clean City is a safe City – for our residents, businesses, customers, and workers.”
The Ministry of Public Works has created a helpful ‘What Goes Where’ chart which can be viewed here.
For more information on the City’s Waste Collection Programme go to cityofhamilton.bm
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