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‘Disgusting’ trash heap dumped near fort

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Mounds of building debris, furniture and appliances illegally dumped near the entrance of Fort Hamilton have been described “an extreme case of irresponsible contracting”.

Steven DeSilva, Superintendent of Parks with the Corporation of Hamilton, told The Royal Gazette that the dumping was “soul-destroying” and lashed out the perpetrators.

“The person or persons that did this need counsel because you can't do this with a conscience,” he said. “They are missing a vital part of their judgment.

“This is a crime against our country. It is highly antisocial and very damaging to the environment. It's also highly unsightly and very costly to clean up.”

Pointing to heaps of drywall, paint, tiles, packs of tiles adhesive, furniture, printers, buckets and wood flooring, he said it looked like someone had renovated a private home or homes.

“It's an absolute mess,” he said. “Clearly someone has taken the opportunity to ask their trucker, or the contractor, to take it away.

“This is a very extreme case of irresponsible contracting.”

Although the dumping happened on Fort Hamilton Drive, a private road adjacent to Fort Hamilton, Mr DeSilva said it was a Corporation park staff member who alerted him on Wednesday.

He said the dumping must have taken place over two days because the same employee told him on Thursday that more rubbish had appeared.

“It's soul-destroying,” Mr DeSilva said. “It speaks to a level of workmanship that is below standard. A responsible outfit will know that you have to separate items.

“This is a rogue who doesn't know what he is doing and he is prepared to damage the environment very badly to earn a dollar.”

Mr DeSilva added that Corporation staff worked very hard to keep the area they were responsible for clean, and were proud of their work.

“No doubt the individual or individuals who did this, know this,” he said.

He has high hopes the culprit will be caught, adding: “We have a responsibility to find out who is doing things like this and make a case — this is a prosecutable crime.

“We've found things that can possibly be proved to be evidence but again, there is an expense there.

“We now have to find time to try and find out who did this, and then there's the clean-up.”

In expressing his disgust, area resident William John Preece said he also hoped that the perpetrators would be apprehended and punished.

“They want to do it to the fullest extent,” he said. “It's disgusting. It's not Bermudian really, is it? Dump it in your own garden!”

Mr Preece said his wife told him about the dumping on Thursday morning, leading him to conclude that it was “dumped sometime the night before”.

He spoke to other residents on Thursday evening, who agreed that “it's just not on”.

Mr Preece pointed out that the area was normally kept clean, although litter sometimes piled up in the car park.

But he added: “Not to this degree — it's crazy. I hope they find them.”

Meanwhile, the Bermuda Environmental Sustainability Taskforce said illegal dumping was “indicative of both a public mindset that needs to be influenced and of the need for changes in policies and processes related to waste management”.

“It is too easy for illegal dumping to be done and the dumpers to escape detection and sanction,” the group said.

“This incident at Fort Hamilton, and others like it, remind us of the real meaning of community.

“People who observe or know about this kind of antisocial behaviour should feel bound to bring it to the attention of an appropriate government agency, BEST or other watchdog NGOs.”

The group added that there was a guide to help the public to deal with environmental problems in the resources section of its website, www.best.org.bm. A police spokesman said yesterday that the Community Action Team would be assisting Vanese Gordon, the waste-management education and enforcement officer with the Ministry of Public Works, who is addressing the matter.

A spokeswoman for the Ministry of Public Works confirmed it was working with the police.

“Ministry staff were at the Fort Hamilton Drive site this morning and have developed a plan for removal of the waste alongside staff from the Corporation of Hamilton,” she added.

She also noted that a large portion of the dumped waste was “bulky, non-burnable items”.

“Therefore, the dumper avoided a mere $20 tipping fee at the airport waste-management facility, while the taxpayer must now pay a considerable amount to have the waste removed and disposed of properly.”

Soul destroying: Steven DeSilva surveys the piles of rubbish that have been dumped on Fort Hamilton Drive (Photograph by Lisa Simpson)
Crime against the country: mounds of rubbish, including appliances, have been dumped on Fort Hamilton Drive (Photograph by Steven DeSilva)
Unsightly mess: piles of building debris and other assorted rubbish have been dumped on Fort Hamilton Drive (Photograph by Lisa Simpson)
“Irresponsible” contractors criticised: piles of building debris have been dumped at Fort Hamilton Drive (Photograph by Lisa Simpson)

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Published August 06, 2016 at 9:00 am (Updated August 06, 2016 at 12:46 am)

‘Disgusting’ trash heap dumped near fort

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