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#471485 - 08/31/13 05:31 AM Garbage Issue on the island  
Joined: Oct 1999
Posts: 57,816
Marty Offline
Marty  Offline
I need to be earlier with this update because we are faced with a real dilemma that will affect our little Jewel if we as a community do not act ASAP. Apparently, a case or few cases of Dengue has been reported in San Pedro. Now before you start blaming your village council for not spraying in the rain, let me explain a little about Dengue. The major causes of this disease is more garbage related than water related. This is FACT. Over the last month, we have many reports of the garbage collectors, getting paid by the establishments to take garbage to the dump that never reaches our dump. Now, we know that someone or many people on this island have seen people dumping garbage on the back streets, yet as we ask around for information, everyone is numb. This is our community and if Dengue shows up on Caye Caulker, none of us will be immune. Why are we allowing this to happen to us. As a villager, we owe our community and our neighbors the chance to live in a healthy environment. We will prosecute anyone found dumping garbage on our streets, in our neighborhoods or anywhere else except at the dump site. I would encourage all businesses to not allow garbage to be picked up after hours. Donít give these individuals any excuse to infest our little jewel. By the end of the year this entire garbage system will fail to exist as it does now. Until then, we donít need Dengue or any other diseases to upset our livelihood and way of living. Garbage disposal is our major problem Caye Caulker. Each resident have a responsibility to bag and ensure our garbage reaches itís final destination. Maybe we should start paying the various collectors after they return from the dump with a receipt. HOW ABOUT THAT CONCEPT.



Since my first extended stay here in Caye Caulker back in the summer of 2011, I have always been -and have always remained reticent on anything that could disrupt the groove of this charming, easy-going island. Iím not a local, Iím not a resident; I donít even pour in tons of foreign income to grant me any stake or legality to this country and community. Surely the last thing local communities need is yet another outsider suggesting how this and that should go. Iím a visitor-turned-resident, an outsider-wannabe insider, who simply loves and respects nature and all the beauty it offers. Hinging off Chairman Millerís statement, ďGarbage disposal is our major problem in Caye Caulker,Ē I add that garbage and litter is a serious, disheartening issue, not just for the aforementioned health concerns, risks of dengue (which are serious enough), but also for the health and aesthetic of the environment. Nothing puts me off more than seeing Styrofoam, plastic packaging, bottles, and broken glass littered in beaches, in the water (particularly at the Split where young children wade), on streets, and everywhere the wind can blow debris. Itís like youíve got this amazing aquamarine backdrop, a scenery so surreal you feel high off of life. Then in the corner of your perfect view, you see a rotting, broken fluorescent light bulb floating next to Styrofoam food packaging. Once the wind picks it all up, it ends up in the ocean and the reef, and voila, there you have the hypocrisy in tourism. With all due respect, itís a bit of a disgrace.

Since I can only relate to what Iíve observed, and what Iíve experienced, my statements could appear very naÔve and misinformed. Help me understand. More often than not, I turn around wanting to toss my garbage, and there arenít any garbage cans around. This includes public places like the park, The Cemetery, The Split, the barge dock, and over-the-counter eateries. Deeply and truly, I blame the wind for most of the litter. It really is natureís fault. And I still believe that humans care, meaning, they would probably toss their garbage if there was a garbage can around. I find myself holding on to my garbage until I reach home, because I know that if I leave it in the corner, along with other garbage (sometimes you just have no choice), the wind will just pick it up and toss into the ocean before the cleaning staff can get to it. But why wait for staff to clean it? Is there even a cleaning staff? Why not create opportunities for people to discard their own trash? I honestly feel like raking up the Split sometimes just so my daughter can wade in debris-free sand and water. Can someone donate a few rakes at the split and label it ďDIY (Do it Yourself) collective community effort?Ē Youíd be surprised.

These may sound silly, but here are practical solutions that could help:

- Create a village ordinance requiring all businesses that incur any form of waste to make a garbage can available for their customers. This would include shops, restaurants, over-the-counter eateries Ėplaces that sell any sort of packaging that could result in waste. But letís not discriminate; why not make it an ordinance for ALL businesses? I strongly believe that profit makers/business owners have an ethical responsibility to their community. In parallel, and on a very grand scale, this is the same fight environmentalists make with large oil producers; since oil companies create the risk of pollution they should at least be responsible for its risk. Kudos to Reef Sports and Raggamuffin, and the ďKebab KingĒ (sorry thatís all I can think of right now) who make garbage cans readily available to the public.

- If the above suggestion is just straight silly, maybe the council can lead a green campaign asking all hotels (where it applies) to offer a brief orientation when checking in guests that should go like this, ďAs a small island community, we pride ourselves in maintaining the island and oceanís health. Youíll notice that garbage cans are rare around the island, but as part of our campaign towards a greener environment, we ask that you collect your garbage and toss it ďin these binsĒ (somewhere). Iíve been to two hotels in the past two months which actually have signs and notices around the rooms with a similar format. Iíd also like to assume that at least 80% of the tourist demographic is ďhip to the green movementĒ and would so respect this request, if asked. A bit radical, but it could work. Imagine, ďCaye Caulker, the world renowned green island.Ē

- Somehow (through grants or taxes, I donít know), pay premium for garbage disposal staff wages.

- Set up DIY stations in garbage prone, public areas like the park. More often than not, mothers like myself, would be more than willing to toss rubbish in a can, or rake broken glass if there were tools available.

We are probably some of the luckiest people in the world to live in such a beautiful setting. We canít allow ourselves to become desensitized to the issues relating to garbage and litter. How can we put our pride into action and resolve the garbage problem?

Caye Caulker Chronicles

#471524 - 08/31/13 01:40 PM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
Dane Offline
Dane  Offline
Several studies were done to determine who throws the stuff in the street.
It isn't the foreign tourists in the hotels.
It mostly isn't local families either.
The large alien population came from countries where tossing crap in the streets is usual
Belize City visitors who find no can do not put trash in their pockets like the tourists do.

There were several attempts to provide trash cans both public and private. They were stacked high with household waste until they quickly became pyramids of crap with a trash can in the core.
Saves money to dump it there.
Then it begins to blow all over, covered with flies.
The trash is now picked up by our poorest of the poor old people.
I lived on the dump road for 34 years.Those dropping crap are largely children, or new arrived young guys stealing the livelihood of the old folks, and making an extra dime by not paying the dump fee. The actual trash guys often pointed out trash messes to me and told me who dumped them in an effort to defend their living.

Last edited by Dane; 08/31/13 01:43 PM.
#471530 - 08/31/13 07:59 PM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Apr 2005
Posts: 1,435
Cooper Offline
Cooper  Offline
As well, the tides bring in a mega amount of trash on our shoreline. This confuses tourist who think it is dumped.

#471534 - 08/31/13 10:35 PM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Marty]  
Joined: Oct 2006
Posts: 597
ron Offline
ron  Offline
The Split is raked and cleaned up every morning. Immer pays people to do this early in the morning. Periodically during the day the bar staff go around and pickup the bottles mainly I would guess since there is a deposit for them. Everyone that brings trash up to the bar gets it put into a trash can behind the bar. And when bottles get broken then are swept up almost immediately by either a patron or a bartender. If you ask at the bar, I am pretty sure they will give you a rake to use to rake up the surrounds. The food stands that at located at the split will put your trash in one of their cans.I also know the Reef Sports often does that same at the beginning of the split. They provided a place to put trash the beginning of this year. I know that much trash comes ashore from the cruise ships passing in the night. If you go to the north island you will see lots of trash where few people go. It comes with the tide.

#471559 - 09/01/13 09:23 AM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: ron]  
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 21
Nate Offline
Nate  Offline
Quote "By the end of the year this entire garbage system will fail to exist as it does now." Sounds like Wayne has a plan.

#471560 - 09/01/13 09:30 AM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: ron]  
Joined: Sep 2009
Posts: 25
Peggydoo Offline
Peggydoo  Offline
Originally Posted by ron
The Split is raked and cleaned up every morning.

And the guy that rakes, rakes all the trash right to the other side of the fence. I've seen him do that several times. Often it's the attitude and ignorance of people that creates the trash. They clean up their own part but don't care about the public surroundings. And if you say something about it, they pull up their shoulders and walk away.

#471564 - 09/01/13 10:47 AM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Peggydoo]  
Joined: Oct 2010
Posts: 143
joey2angels Offline
joey2angels  Offline

I always visit in the fall but took a trip to CC this past Easter. Talk about was terrible. After all the hoards left the island it was loaded with garbage all along the beach and caught up under the piers. Maybe this stuff is just leftovers?


#471567 - 09/01/13 11:53 AM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 254
artisan Offline
artisan  Offline
You came at the worst time possible for litter.
"Holy Week" is a time-honored fest of drinking and trouble making.
All the people from the mainland come out and trash the place.
They still come every Sunday "The Lord's Day" and leave piles of trash right in front of the new "Please don't litter" signs at the Split.
They tore down the no-wake signs shortly after they were put up.
If you want anything done here simply tell them not to.

#471576 - 09/01/13 02:22 PM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2006
Posts: 538
Dane Offline
Dane  Offline
Wayne has a plan for everything according to his people.
What a refreshing change..

#471624 - 09/02/13 08:43 AM Re: Garbage Issue on the island [Re: Marty]  
Joined: May 2011
Posts: 254
artisan Offline
artisan  Offline
The prevailing (trade winds) winds blow west in Belize, washing back all the cruise ship trash dumped right outside the reef.

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