Illegal dumping ‘posing risks to human health’ – KBB

Long-term solutions are needed to address illegal dumping around the island, according to the environmental charity Keep Bermuda Beautiful.

The call comes after complaints of illegal dumping of stuff including furniture, appliances and construction material at Ely’s Harbour in Southampton.

Traci Burgess, the executive director of KBB, said: “There have even been reports of commercial trucks dumping loads of waste and heavy metal materials at this same location, which is illegal. All of these practices are contributing to an unsightly and unsanitary situation.

“KBB regularly co-ordinates clean-ups at Ely’s Harbour and other hotspots across the island that are prone to littering and illegal dumping. However, it is important to note that cleaning up in these situations is not a long-term solution.

“The key to creating systemic behaviour change and putting a stop to littering and illegal dumping is a combination of education, public awareness and enforcement of Bermuda’s Waste and Litter Control Act.”

Jamahl Simmons, the MP for the area, commended the team at Works and Engineering for doing its best to address concerns in the constituency and clear dumped waste.

But he added: “It’s discouraging that we continue to deal with a few individuals that possess little regard for others and our community.

“Recognising this is an ongoing problem, I have reached out to the ministry for ideas on long-term solutions.

“In the interim, I encourage Bermudians to keep their eyes open and to report incidents of illegal dumping and further call on everyone in our community to have a better regard for each other and our community.”

Ms Burgess said Ely’s Harbour is far from the only area affected, stating the island has a “chronic problem” with illegal dumping that dates back several decades.

“Unfortunately, KBB and members of the public tend to find a lot of discarded waste in public spaces like docks, the railway trail, parks and beaches,” Ms Burgess said.

“Situations like the habitual littering and illegal dumping at Ely’s Harbour are causing major issues for the public, posing risks to human health and damaging the environment.

“Household trash bags full of rotting food, personal hygiene items, dirty diapers and more are often left sitting on the side of the dumpsters at Ely’s Harbour public dock.

“This invites rodents and other curious critters to rip open the bags, which leads to litter being strewn across the parking area and blown into the water whenever the wind picks up.”

Ms Burgess added that there are options available for those who want to get rid of waste including the Tynes Bay Public Drop-Off and the airport waste management facility for larger bulk items including household appliances, furniture and vehicles.

Royal Gazette