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Charlotte Amalie
Wednesday, August 17, 2022
HomeNewsArchivesTRASH ENFORCEMENT SHOULD AT LEAST PAY OFF

TRASH ENFORCEMENT SHOULD AT LEAST PAY OFF

We recently read through the Inspector General's report revelation that a Department of Public Works trash enforcement officer was making somewhere around $100,000 in overtime in addition to a regular salary.
We have been trying for a month – ever since the new $1,000 fine for littering signs went up around the islands — to find out the statistics on how many people have ever been fined for littering. To no avail.
Geraldine Smith at the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission sent us to DPW, which said the person who had that information was not there, but would call us back. The person didn't — even though it would appear from the recent audit that they work almost around the clock.
But from the looks of our roadsides and beaches we would guess very few people have ever been fined. And we are, frankly, outraged by the juxtaposition of new signs increasing fines and the findings of the inspector general.
Very few days go by that we don't see someone throwing a can or papers or something out of their car windows or on the ground as they walk away from some fast food eatery.
If we see them, why don't the authorities see them? And fine them?
One of the local radio stations used to have a call-in program where littering could be reported, along with the license plate numbers of the perpetrators.
It is time to implement something like that again.
Every one of those $1,000 fine signs should have a number to call to report incidents of littering. With all of the cellular phones in use, there would be an automatic patrol on the streets day and night. And we believe most people would call.
Since the enforcement officer is available seven days a week according to his/her overtime, he/she should spend Sundays at the islands' beaches handing out $1,000 tickets to litterbugs. A drive down the road to Magens Bay alone would net thousands of dollars.
That would change things quickly on the littering front.
This past winter, several friends who cruised these islands expressed shock at the "trashy" look of Paradise.
Once again, what this territory needs is enforcement. We would gladly get in line to be part of the solution by reporting littering.

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We recently read through the Inspector General's report revelation that a Department of Public Works trash enforcement officer was making somewhere around $100,000 in overtime in addition to a regular salary.
We have been trying for a month - ever since the new $1,000 fine for littering signs went up around the islands — to find out the statistics on how many people have ever been fined for littering. To no avail.
Geraldine Smith at the Anti-Litter and Beautification Commission sent us to DPW, which said the person who had that information was not there, but would call us back. The person didn't — even though it would appear from the recent audit that they work almost around the clock.
But from the looks of our roadsides and beaches we would guess very few people have ever been fined. And we are, frankly, outraged by the juxtaposition of new signs increasing fines and the findings of the inspector general.
Very few days go by that we don't see someone throwing a can or papers or something out of their car windows or on the ground as they walk away from some fast food eatery.
If we see them, why don't the authorities see them? And fine them?
One of the local radio stations used to have a call-in program where littering could be reported, along with the license plate numbers of the perpetrators.
It is time to implement something like that again.
Every one of those $1,000 fine signs should have a number to call to report incidents of littering. With all of the cellular phones in use, there would be an automatic patrol on the streets day and night. And we believe most people would call.
Since the enforcement officer is available seven days a week according to his/her overtime, he/she should spend Sundays at the islands' beaches handing out $1,000 tickets to litterbugs. A drive down the road to Magens Bay alone would net thousands of dollars.
That would change things quickly on the littering front.
This past winter, several friends who cruised these islands expressed shock at the "trashy" look of Paradise.
Once again, what this territory needs is enforcement. We would gladly get in line to be part of the solution by reporting littering.