It’s a New Year – that time for out with the old and in with the new, but the residents of Ferry Lane at Watford Bridge in Dockyard know that the ‘NIMBY’ (Not In My Backyard) Syndrome is still alive and not so well when it comes to TRASH!

Since we published part two of this report on February 15 last year, entitled ‘The Unmanageable Side Of Trash – Illegal Dumping At Ferry Lane Continues To Go Unchecked’, it would appear that nothing has changed.

The trash dumping area is meant for area residents and household trash only. Despite the warning signs, people still bring their trash from other areas – including household and outdoor furniture.

The good news today (Jan 3) is trash day is Tuesday, January 4 for west end residents. But one day hardly makes a difference because the pile up continues right after trash collection on a weekly basis.

As we reported last year – on any given day of the week, whether it’s trash collection day or not, the trash dumped just sits there in open view like the eyesore that it is.

One area resident said: “On Friday, Christmas Eve, they emptied the bins and by Saturday – Christmas Day they were overflowing again.”

The photos in this report were taken on Sunday, January 2 – the day after New Year’s Day and as you can see the items dumped include outdoor furniture – right next to the sign.

The sign clearly states that the dumpsters at the Watford Bridge east bound bus stop are for ‘Regular Trash, Paper and Plastic…Please Do Not Litter’. Is is working? Clearly it is not! And the other sign below is posted in clear view.

And the sign below is clearly posted outside the Ferry Lane dumpster area.

Suggestions fielded in our last report to help solve the problem of illegal dumping in this area included putting doors on the designated area for the dumpsters, with locks and keys for area residents.

Other residents suggested installing video cameras as a deterrent. They also suggested placing dumpsters for dumping at both ends of the island.

Most agree that the problem got worse after the Government switched to the once a week garbage collection schedule.

Since then, several residents agreed that “this trash dumping site encourages rats and rodents. And the problem is compounded by the fact that “people just don’t care as long as it’s out of their yard”.

“And they don’t want to go all the way to Tyne’s Bay,” one resident said.

That may have changed over the Christmas holiday when residents dumped their household garbage outside the waste disposal area at Tyne’s Bay in Devonshire.

But as we reported last February: “The area residents are so pissed off and annoyed by this eyesore. It has gone on for years and years. After a while you lose the energy to be mad about it anymore.”

In fact, illegal dumping across the island has been an ongoing problem for decades, particularly along the Railway Trail.

One waste management worker told Bermuda Real last year that other problem areas include Wellington Back Road in St George’s, Coney Island, Aeola Drive near Tynes Bay up on the trail and Vesey Street in Devonshire and Flatt’s Village.

We know that the Ministry of Public Works is responsible for all government assets, including public lands, beaches, public parks, government buildings, water distribution, sewerage disposal, solid waste management and refuse collections.

And we already know that the Waste and Litter Control Act 1987 and its amendments are subject to prosecution with a first summary conviction carrying up to a $5,000 fine, and A up to a $10,000 fine for subsequent convictions.

Once again, it begs the question – when was the last time you  have seen anyone brought before the courts for littering or illegal dumping? What good is a maximum penalty, or any penalties as a deterrent if it is not enforced?

One could ask if any of it even matters? But the flip side of it all, basically means that illegal dumpers know they can dump their trash and literally get away with it! So much for the law and/or enforcement!

The Ministry also employs a Waste Education and Enforcement Officer, “who works with neighbourhoods to educate and help”, by urging residents “to dispose of their waste responsibly and be considerate for those who work to keep Bermuda clean”. 

But is it working?

The Minister of Public Works, Lieutenant Colonel David Burch, is already on record stating that the problem “is the source of significant disappointment to and irritation”.

“As such there are several options available for enforcement that are being explored. I am determined to take the necessary and possibly controversial steps to curb this behaviour,” he said.

That was a few years ago. Since then, Col Burch is currently out of commission healthwise and he is not on the job. His colleague, Wayne Furbert is currently the Acting Minister, for an unspecified period.

What’s happened to address this ongoing problem in the interim – ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

All this, while the problem continues – a problem exasperated by nasty rodents like mice and rats running rampant.

To date, no one has been found to be in breach of the law and prosecuted for illegal dumping and everybody knows it, including the people responsible for it.

And what do we as a community and the Government do about it in the interim as it continues to go unchecked without any real enforcement?

Sadly, it all comes down to a whole lot of discussion with NO REAL ACTION!

  • To be continued…