Minister in the Ministry of Climate Resilience with responsibility for Disaster Management and Information, Senator Winston Garraway has announced that Traffic wardens who will be on the job very soon will double up to also serve as Litter Wardens as government seeks to address the issue of litter in the country.
Addressing a recent sitting of the Upper House of Parliament at the Parliament Building at Mt. Wheldale, St. George’s, Sen. Garraway said that this additional responsibility is being provided for under the Abatement of Litter Amendment Act 2019 which seeks to put in place a cadre of persons who will be responsible for policing towns within Grenada, Carriacou and Petite Martinique to ensure the proper disposal of waste.
According to the Junior Government minister, these persons will be given the responsibility to charge fixed penalties to ensure that persons are compliant with the law.
“…We’ve had three categories of persons who were enacted or given that special privilege when the act was first established and we talked about police officers, public health inspection officers, forestry officers. These three categories of workers were given that responsibility to police the Abatement of Litter Act”, he said.
“The amendment of 2018 seeks to introduce a new category of workers to police the act. In this regard, we are hoping to give that power and authority to the Traffic wardens that will be given that responsibility to control traffic within the state of Grenada. We could see the value of giving such powers to the Traffic wardens, who would be assisting with parking and the regulating and controlling of the traffic. It’s our belief that since they are there, that additional duty to assist to comply with the act will be an easy fit”, he said.
Senior Minister of Climate Resilience, Sen. Simon Stiell added his voice to the issue, stating that the intention of the move is to encourage a change in behavioural patterns of the population about littering.
He described the initiative as “an important step forward, an important enabler for us to start the enforcement” in addressing the issue of littering since a lot of it takes place in the urbanised areas where the Traffic Wardens will be patrolling.
Sen.Stiell told the Upper House sitting: “As we all know we have passed legislation to ban single use plastics, Styrofoam etc which are a major cause for litter, but the fact that bio-degradable products will be coming into place in replacement of these Styrofoam and single use plastics…it doesn’t actually stop the issue (of littering) with people actually throwing that litter around, so whether it’s degradable or non-bio-degradable, it’s still litter.
“…We see this as an opportunity as we start heightened national awareness regarding the ban on single use plastics and styrofoam that there is (a) natural link to the introduction of this Litter Abatement Act”.
“So, it’s not just a case of those pollutants … but also to … push to change behaviour and through the litter wardens and the establishment of that, the enforcement of this … there will be an educational component, public awareness component so that the population is aware of their responsibilities”.
Independent Senator Glynis Roberts, who is a member of the Grenada Green Group, commended the government for taking steps to address littering in the country.
She said: “As a member of the Grenada Green Group who has been working with the Ministry of Health (and) Environment over the years to ensure that this law actually come into play and it ties into our tourism because we have advocates like tour operators who always complain and take pictures, like Mr. Ian Blakie and Mandoo. I know they would be elated to finally have wardens Senator Stiell. So, thank you very much for making the change…”.