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Antigua: Health Minister alarmed at high number of illegal dumping sites

Minister of Health and the Environment, Molwyn Joseph, has expressed alarm at the large number of illegal dumping sites in the country. He has declared that over 120 unofficial dumping sites have been discovered during the national clean-up exercise which is currently on-going in several communities on the island.

In expressing his concern in the Lower House of Parliament yesterday, Minister Joseph said the government will address the problem by legislating an aggressive Litter Act.

“We will be holding a public consultation on what will be the most advanced Litter Act to be passed in the entire world. People have asked for the Litter Act to have more teeth and those who have asked for teeth if they want fangs, they will get fangs as well.

“The year 2018 must be the transformational year when we see people of this country individually take responsibility for not littering and for keeping the environment clean,” the minister stressed, adding that the Attorney General’s office is currently working on the proposed amendments which will carry heavy fines and in some cases jail time.

In an effort to address the issue of illegal dumping in the country, the Ministry of Health has partnered with key stakeholders to launch ‘#Clean Up 268’, a national campaign to drive accountability for waste management.

This first phase of the campaign ran from May 26-31 with a national clean-up of bulk waste and derelict vehicles. A significant amount of waste was transported to the Cook’s Sanitary Landfill.

The second phase, scheduled for June 2 and 3, will include a coastal marine and terrestrial inland clean-up and litter pick-up from 5 a.m. – 5:30 p.m.

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