Speaking as someone that lives on the southside of the island, the litter problem is bad and getting worse by the day. Where to start? One of the issues is the total lack of any type of suitable trash bin. Although many business people have asked for the ability to buy larger plastic trash barrels I still know of no source on the island. At one point I believe the Town Board was studying the issue but nothing happened. We are left to bag trash in garbage bags and hope the island critters leave them be until the garbage truck comes by. The guys that run the trash trucks give it their all. They are on the road from before sun up to way past sun down doing the best they can. Problem is with so few trucks available, the trash bags are stacked to the moon and as the trucks hit the zillion potholes in route to the dump, bags fall off and the contents are left to blow in the breeze. Perhaps a town pickup truck should make the drive from town to the dump at least once a day to collect the fallen debris. I would guess that from the Watertower to the dump, there is a piece of garbage every foot or so. Many of us on the south side have had trash collection days only to find more garbage on the road before the busting full sacks of trash we have collected can find their way to the dump. It is most discouraging. It almost gets to the point you just turn a blind eye and become numb to the issue. The problem is made worse by several condo projects that use the lot across the street from them as a dump instead of hauling off their refuse. Construction sites add to the problem with everything from construction debris, plastic water bags and styro lunch containers covering the area.
Solutions???? It will obviously take continuous effort from everyone that lives on and loves Ambergris Caye. The anti-litter campaign of last Fall is long forgotten. Wonder how many litter citations were issued? Heck, if tickets were issued there would be enough money to buy dozens of trash trucks.
Perhaps our new Minister of Tourism, Mr. Heredia, can get everyone together to craft a solution. It truly is a tourism problem because In talking to the many tourists on the island, they are truly appalled and can not understand how such a jewel can be left in such a state. Also, with a faltering US economy, sooner or later tourists will turn to other Caribbean destinations that appear to have more pride in their country. I am afraid that until the government gets serious about the problem, nothing will happen. It will take a lot more than the interest of business people and a new trash truck to solve the problem. I know there are many business people and residents alike that are anxious to help and hope a solution is near at hand.