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Dumped road roller a blot on landscape

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An angry homeowner claimed that he was “beating his head against a wall” after a road roller was dumped opposite his house almost a year ago.

Everett Gibson said the machine blocked access for trash trucks and prevented the use of parking spaces at a public dock.

The 72-year-old added that the problem of dumping at Jews Bay, Southampton, was not new but that other trash was “nothing” compared to the roller.

Lieutenant-Colonel David Burch, the public works minister, said people caught illegally dumping goods would be prosecuted “to the fullest extent of the law”.

Mr Gibson contacted The Royal Gazette after he read about waste dumped at Ely's Harbour this month.

Discarded items at the Sandys site included a washer, a dryer, a mattress and an oven.

Mr Gibson said: “Jews Bay has become a dump and it's ten times worse.

“Someone has abandoned a road roller. It has been there for a year; this is a huge piece of equipment.

“There is a platform where the three dumpsters sit and the road roller is parked right in front of there, so the trucks that come to pick up the dumpsters can't pick them up.”

Mr Gibson, a retired BTC employee and former Reserve Police officer, said that dumping at the spot had been a problem “on and off” for years.

He added: “They started off with a mattress and box spring, now it looks like car seats over there, but that's nothing compared to the roller.

“I just paid thousands of dollars to have my house painted. I try to keep my place looking nice then I've got to look across the road to this.

“It's ridiculous, no one seems to want to take it in hand.”

Mr Gibson said: “It's a car park for people going out on their boats. You could probably put three more cars there if that road roller wasn't there.

“It's an ongoing problem. I've complained for years and it's like I'm beating my head up against a brick wall.”

Mr Gibson said he had contacted the public works department about the problem more than once and had written to Leah Scott, the MP for Southampton East Central.

The One Bermuda Alliance member said she expected the roller to be removed soon.

She added: “I've been in touch with the Ministry of Public Works and they have confirmed that there have been ongoing inquiries.

“They've been trying to contact the owner. The department is still working on it and trying to have it resolved in short order.”

The spot is close to the Fairmont Southampton's Waterlot Inn and a spokeswoman for the company said its environmental sustainability group was scheduled to launch a blitz on trash at the site next month.

She added: “Anything that is going to be unsightly for our tourists is obviously of concern for Fairmont.

“Our Planet 21 team has gone to that public dock in previous years and, in fact, we will be going back down there to do clean-ups on Saturday, June 8. But she said: “We're not in a position to remove a roller.”

The spokeswoman added: “We think it should be taken care of by the people who look after the public docks.”

Colonel Burch said he was aware of the problem of illegal dumping and people “placing household garbage and large items at bus stops, marine docks and other unauthorised locations”.

The public works minister added: “We will seek to identify these persons and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law. Fines can be as much as $10,000.

“We are mostly disappointed that individuals who continue to engage in this behaviour take no personal pride in maintaining and preserving the beauty of our island and our environment.”

Colonel Burch said: “This activity is putting an unnecessary burden on the government collection system and the taxpayer. Those witnessing such abuse have a responsibility to also report such activity so corrective measures can be taken.”

Rusting wreck: the abandoned road roller at the public dock at Jews Bay, Southampton (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Everett Gibson (File photograph by Blaire Simmons)

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Published May 31, 2019 at 9:00 am (Updated May 31, 2019 at 8:42 am)

Dumped road roller a blot on landscape

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