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Illegal dumping near MovieTowne

Published: 
Tuesday, July 22, 2014
Film reels, garbage litter reclamation site...
The dump site at the Mucurapo mangrove at Invader's Bay, Port-of-Spain. PHOTO: ABRAHAM DIAZ

An illegal dump site is littering reclaimed land at Invaders Bay, Port-of-Spain, and despite attempts by the Urban Development Corporation of T&T (Udecott) and MovieTowne owner Derek Chin to rectify the situation, dumping continues.

 

Last week, the T&T Guardian visited the area, located west of Courtyard by Marriott which can be accessed via a makeshift road off Hollywood Boulevard, before the traffic lights.

 

Large quantities of rubbish, including dozens of film reels, were scattered at the site.

 

In an E-mail to the T&T Guardian, Roxanne Stapleton-Whyms, Udecott’s media manager, said filling and levelling of material in the area were part of a Cabinet mandate in 2005 to expedite the reclamation of lands at Invaders Bay.

 

She added reclamation work at Invaders Bay was completed in July 2009.

 

Stapleton-Whyms said the access road to the area, which was not under Udecott’s purview, was unsecure, allowing people to access the site for illegal dumping.

 

Despite Udecott’s efforts to clear the area and provide security patrols, illegal dumping persisted, she said.

 

Saying the reclamation work did not affect the mangroves, she said a Certificate of Environment Clearance was granted by the Environmental Management Agency (EMA).

 

 “Udecott’s works were conducted away from the mangrove area located along the banks of the Maraval River. No mangrove field was cleared nor disturbed as part of Udecott’s work,” she said.

 

In a telephone interview, Chin said: “We have been trying to bring this to the attention of the authorities because it is a serious eyesore and it’s an environmental problem.”

 

He said although Udecott tended to the area a few months ago, illegal dumping continued.

 

Asked about the film reels found on the site, he said: “We haven’t used film reels in the last five years because we are fully digital now. And five years ago, after we used the film reels we had to return them to the distributor.”

 

Chin said MovieTowne did not use the site for dumping and suggested small contractors, who did not want to travel to designated dumping areas, might be responsible.

 

The T&T Guardian contacted film distributors at the Film Centre, St James but they distanced themselves from the film reels dumped at the site.

 

No response from EMA

On July 17, the T&T Guardian E-mailed the following questions to the EMA but did not receive a response up to yesterday evening.

• What is the legal status of the dump site?

• What measures does the EMA have in place to monitor and prevent illegal activities (for example, illegal dumping) and why was dumping at Invaders Bay allowed to go on undetected?

• What is the status of the mangroves at Invaders Bay?