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Sep 28, 1999

Scouts/D.O.E. hold waterways cleanup

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The Scout Association of Belize, the Department of the Environment and other agencies will be holding a countrywide waterways cleanup this weekend. Scouts throughout Belize will pick up trash and debris from the coastlines, rivers and creeks. Although the event is an annual one and is planned well in advance, the Department of the Environment says Channel Five’s story on Monday about the garbage being dumped in the Haulover Creek highlighted, in a very dramatic way, the problem of solid waste management and the need for people to change their behavior.”

Albert Roches, Environmental Technician, D.O.E.

“It gives us a perfect example of what we don’t want to happen in Belize. One of the guys you interviewed stated that, you know it looks like a garbage dump that we are having along the river. With the tide going in and out, all of this garbage coming out, which the repercussions are much greater than what we believe. For a program like this, yes, it’s a one-day program, it’s only for a day, but what we want to do is follow up with enforcement.

For example you have these people calling in stating you know they see people dumping the garbage or other stuff in the Haulover Creek, we would like to ask them, if you see these people doing it try to get a name. Or if you see a vehicle stop and dump out garbage try to get a license plate number and pass it on to the authorities, or the Department of the Environment, I should say.”

This weekend’s cleanup campaign begins simultaneously around the country at eight a.m. on Saturday. In Belize City it begins at the B.T.L. Park. Two hundred people from schools and environmental groups and the Tour Guides Association will be participating in San Ignacio. Roches says Orange Walk, Corozal and Punta Gorda are also well organized and he encourages residents of Belize City to get involved. When the trash is collected it is identified and counted. Last year, plastic accounted for sixty-five percent of the items collected.

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