Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Minister warns: Zero-tolerance, increased fines for illegal dumping

Illegal dumping at Orange Valley. Photo courtesy Derick Bhupsingh.

Illegal dumping at Orange Valley. Photo courtesy Derick Bhupsingh.

The Minister of Rural Development and Local Government Kazim Hosein is warning the public to heed the revised fines for illegal dumping for 2019.

This, as on Christmas Eve, a defendant arrested for illegally dumping 200 tyres at the EMBD La Fortune Agricultural Site in Debe appeared before the San Fernando Magistrate’s Court.

The court ruled the defendant guilty and liable to pay a fine of $500 or one-month hard labour.

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From January 2019, litter fines will be increased by 100 percent.

Minister Kazim Hosein commended the officer responsible for the arrest saying, “I would like to applaud Inspector Ramoo for his dedication to service and ensuring that lawbreakers face the full brunt of the law without favour. He is an example to all officers and law enforcement personnel that we can trust to uphold the laws of our beloved country”.

As clean up exercises continue across all 14 municipalities, Minister Hosein is urging members of the public to pay attention to the revised fines for 2019 saying, “Citizens must obey the laws especially when it comes to illegal dumping; this is a very serious issue and we must adopt a zero-tolerance attitude to dealing with offenders.”

According to the Litter Act 27 of 1973, Chapter 30:52 under Section 3A (2), “A person who is guilty of an offence under this section is liable on summary conviction in the case of an individual to a fine of four thousand dollars or to imprisonment for six months or in the case of a body corporate to a fine of eight thousand dollars.”

With this in mind, Minister Hosein is encouraging citizens to report cases of illegal dumping saying, “This is a whole of country effort that requires citizens from both rural and urban areas to do their civic duty and identify persons or companies that illegally dump waste. Illegal dumping is one of the major contributors to flooding across Trinidad and we can decrease this probability by being our brother’s keepers and following the regulations stipulated by the legal system.”

The Ministry of Rural Development and Local Government through the Municipal Police Officers and Public Health Officers says it remains on full alert and ready to deal with such issues.

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