85 truckloads of garbage removed from city drains

Do not dis­pose of waste in the na­tion’s drains and rivers. This was the ap­peal made by Deputy May­or of Port-of-Spain Hillan More­an yes­ter­day as he point­ed to the clogged un­der­ground drains that emp­ty in­to the East Dry Riv­er.

Not­ing the sty­ro­foam con­tain­ers and soft-drink bot­tles which spilt out of the drain in­to the riv­er yes­ter­day, More­an said: “We are see­ing one of the rea­sons why our rivers are so dirty.

“A lot of food box­es are stuck in the drain, so even though the wa­ter is com­ing down . . . it can­not flow freely in­to the riv­er. In­stead, it is on­ly seep­ing past the garbage and de­bris which does not help in heavy down­pours as the wa­ter can­not run off and there­fore it backs up.”

More­an said the Port-of-Spain City Cor­po­ra­tion is was spend­ing ap­prox­i­mate­ly $300,000 in its lat­est ef­fort to en­sure the cap­i­tal’s wa­ter­course, in­clud­ing the East Dry Riv­er, are cleared of slush and de­bris ahead of the rainy sea­son. He said he was dis­gust­ed at the kinds of lit­ter that had been col­lect­ed.

The 85 truck-loads of rub­bish col­lect­ed be­tween Fri­day and Sat­ur­day in­clud­ed old mat­tress­es, con­struc­tion equip­ment, tiling ap­pa­ra­tus, food con­tain­ers and plas­tic bot­tles. More­an said the rub­bish col­lect­ed is be­ing tak­en to the Beetham Land­fill.

“We will spend the mon­ey to clean the rivers but if they con­tin­ue this, it will on­ly be­come more dif­fi­cult and more ex­pen­sive,” he said.

Al­though Gov­ern­ment has banned Sty­ro­foam, there is still the is­sue of plas­tic bot­tles to be ad­dressed, More­an added.

“We need to do bet­ter as a pop­u­la­tion. We are do­ing our work but it will be made eas­i­er if peo­ple do not lit­ter,” he said.

He com­mend­ed the Min­istry of Works and Trans­port for their as­sis­tance in clear­ing the most of the drains through­out the cap­i­tal.

Fund­ing for this project had been iden­ti­fied from var­i­ous ar­eas un­der the City Cor­po­ra­tion’s purview, he said.

“We re­al­ly sac­ri­ficed that mon­ey to en­sure this was done be­cause we want to make sure that we are ready for the rainy sea­son. We have had good weath­er so far, so we want­ed to strike now and get it done. But we can’t be ready if peo­ple con­tin­ue to dump in the rivers.”

More­an said in the fu­ture the City Cor­po­ra­tion will be work­ing more close­ly with the Works Min­istry to main­tain the East Dry Riv­er.

- Anna-Lisa Paul

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