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Ministry to crack down on people dumping waste illegally | 01 April 2020

People are being advised to refrain from dumping waste illegally around the country as the Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change will get tough on people engaged in such actions.

It was the chief environment police in the waste enforcement and permit division in the ministry, Andre Freminot, who made the statement yesterday afternoon, after showing the press debris that have been dumped at Ile Perseverance.

Mr Freminot said that they have lately noticed, through their patrols, an increase in dumping activities, especially on Ile Perseverance, particularly in areas going down toward Anse Etoile, on Ile Aurore and at Providence Industrial Estate.

He said that they are also alerted sometimes on those dumping sites by members of the public, especially those on social media.

He said that at the Industrial Estate, most of the debris have been dumped near the pet redeem centre, left behind by the pet collectors.

He noted that the ministry is discussing with the estate authority for a one-off cleaning of the area.

“Most of the debris have been dumped by pick-up and lorry truck drivers on undeveloped areas on Ile Perseverance and Ile Aurore. The debris are mostly from the construction, businesses and household activities,” Mr Freminot said, noting that some of these areas were cleaned last week.

Mr Freminot called on the pick-up and lorry truck drivers assigned to collect debris, to dispose of them correctly at the landfill at Providence.

He noted that under the Environment Protection Act, one can be fined from R100,000 to R1 million or two years imprisonment or both.

He claimed that pick-up and lorry truck drivers are paid to dispose of the debris on the landfill but unaware by the owners, they take the easy way out by dumping them illegally.

Mr Freminot said that the ministry, in collaboration with the Land Waste Management Agency (LWMA), does one-off cleanings in those areas and while sifting through the debris, people identified as responsible for the illegal dumping are brought to task.

He stated though that most of the time, based on the gravity of the dumping, the ministry has been up to now more or less lenient with the offenders who, once identified, have admitted their offence.

“Rather than facing prosecution, they are offered an out of court settlement in terms of a proposed fine which also includes picking up their debris. But if it continues, the consequences might be a little bit tougher than what it is now. So far, we’ve never encountered a repeat offender,” Mr Freminot added.

Mr Freminot said that the ministry is looking into blocking transport access to these areas.

The accompanying photos show some of the debris that have been dumped illegally.

 

Patrick Joubert

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