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St. Lucia on Schedule for Closure of Ciceron Dump Site

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Contact: John Emmanuel

Wednesday, February 13, 2002 – St. Lucia’s Minister for Planning, Development, Environment and Housing, Honourable Dr. Walter Francois, has indicated that all is in place for the phased closure, next month, of the Ciceron Garbage Disposal site. Minister Francois, along with officials of the St. Lucia Solid Waste Management Authority (SLSMWA) on Wednesday, February 13, 2002, toured the site in order to gain a first hand assessment.

Preparatory work on a new multi-million dollar replacement sanitary landfill site in Deglos, Bexon has been underway for more than one year now and Minister Francois says that the private sector will be called upon in helping to meet the cost of the new site.

“The cost factor is tremendous and that is why we will have to ask certain private sector individuals to make a significant contribution. Government has in place a facility which has been referred to as a head tax to help with the financing of solid waste management in the country,” he said.

He told reporters, “At the moment we do not have direct transfers of these amounts to the (Solid Waste) Management Authority, however on a monthly basis the Government of St. Lucia makes a subvention to the Authority to ensure that its recurrent expenditures are met. Most of the capital expenditures are met via a loan with the World Bank incorporated in an amount for the OECS.”

Minister Francois commended the efforts of the Authority in bringing about a significant improvement in the management, disposal, collection and haulage of solid waste in the country since its establishment a few years ago. He observes, however, St. Lucians still need to change their garbage disposal habits and that the indiscriminate disposal of solid waste is an indictment against “the very citizens of this country”.

“Solid waste and garbage have been in the news as of late and the reasons for that are our bad practices and our disregard for the proper disposal of garbage in this country. The Government of St. Lucia will be taking strong action against those persons who persistently and continuously dispose of garbage in an indiscriminate manner,” Francois warned.

That “strong action” includes a significant increase in the fine for littering. The minister also promised a strengthening of the Authority’s education programme and that several approaches are being examined to manage the proper disposal of plastic bags and bottles, in particular.

“I believe that persons ought to be encouraged and cajoled into disposing of garbage properly,” Francois ended.


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