Nature lover fumes over illegal dumping

  • Sick of the excuses: illegal dumping in Ely’s Harbour, Sandys, has been allowed to reach hazardous levels (Photograph by Jessica Riederer)

    Sick of the excuses: illegal dumping in Ely’s Harbour, Sandys, has been allowed to reach hazardous levels (Photograph by Jessica Riederer)

Debris has languished for months at a West End dock with the Government failing to tackle illegal dumping, a Southampton resident has complained.

Jessica Riederer said that debris at Ely’s Harbour Dock in Sandys had yet to be removed, despite her flagging up the problem almost four months ago.

She added that the initial mess, a discarded washer and dryer, had since gained a mattress and an oven, along with plastic and trash.

Ms Riederer said: “It’s unsightly, we’ve got a rat problem, we’ve got a roach problem and nobody wants to walk by massive piles of rubbish.”

The nature photographer posted images of the trash heap on her Facebook account yesterday. She wrote in the caption: “I seriously can’t understand how the large dumped objects haven’t been removed by now.

“I seriously don’t understand how people think it’s OK to dump their personal s*** on a public dock [or a national park ... ongoing]. I’m so sick of the excuses.”

Ms Riederer blamed the growing mess on the Government’s inaction, which she said encouraged others to dump at the site instead of using waste management facilities.

Ms Riederer added: “Unfortunately, we seem to live in a society where people see someone doing something wrong and they think it’s OK to do the same thing.

“From what I’ve seen, if trash is allowed to accumulate in an area people, unfortunately, are going to continue to add to that area thinking that it’s someone else’s problem.”

Ms Riederer said that she came across the debris in January, sharing pictures of the trash on social media to spread awareness. The images were widely circulated, and eventually featured on the ZBM news, but the attention had not prompted any crackdown.

She added: “It’s the same thing with every public dock. If you were to get into your car right now and go down to the ferry terminals and most of the public docks, you would see the exact same situation.

“I find it embarrassing when I’m in a public space and talk to tourists, guests of this island, and I feel the need to apologise. We’re supposed to live on a beautiful island.”

Anne Hyde, executive director at Keep Bermuda Beautiful, said illegal dumping on docks had been a constant for years.

Ms Hyde said both KBB and the Department of Works and Engineering took frequent dumping complaints.

She said: “Waste management may be overburdened with lots of other reports of dumping everywhere else, because Ely’s Harbour is not an isolated case.”

Ms Hyde said that waste pileups were also a public health hazard, drawing pests such as rats and mosquitoes, while trash could migrate to the ocean.

She said: “It’s not just an aesthetic blight — it’s a lot more complicated than that.”

The Ministry of Public Works did not respond by press time last night to a request for comment.

Reports of illegal dumping can be reported to Karlos Burch, of the Ministry of Public Works, at 278-0563 or Keep Bermuda Beautiful at 295-5142.

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Published May 8, 2019 at 8:00 am (Updated May 8, 2019 at 7:11 am)

Nature lover fumes over illegal dumping

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