13 March, 2008


Teacher Helens’ Landscape Features. Anguillians of a certain age remember Teacher Helen. She used to teach geography at the High School. She was strong on landscape features. Recently, she was back on a visit. She remarked on Anguilla’s newest landscape features. I went out on Tuesday and took some photographs so you could see what she was talking about.

The above monument is what she was referring to. It shows one of the many new landscape features scattered along the roadsides around the island.

They are a major improvement on the old oil drums that used to be found outside every house. They can hold so much more garbage. But, if only they were collected more often. Or, if they were bigger, the better to hold the overflowing garbage. Do we have to drive along our highways and byways every week looking at these mounds of garbage around every corner?

Corito is the location of Anguilla’s landfill. It is the public dump. But, does unwanted garbage have to be dumped on the Corito road side? Why should Charlie Gumbs’ guests have to look at the above view every time they turn the corner to go down Charlie’s drive?

You drive along the road, and there are piles of rubbish just dumped on the side. You must have heard the tale. There was a land-fill expert visiting Anguilla. He asked a waitress in a restaurant, “What do you do with your garbage in Anguilla?” The reply was, “We do not have a problem with garbage. Visitors put it in rubbish bins; but, we Anguilllians just throw it out of our car window.” The photo above is the evidence.

Go down the Rendezvous Pond road. It is exactly opposite the Jeremiah Gumbs Highway in Blowing Point. At the end of the road, you will see where some of the good residents of Blowing Point throw their garbage. The Rendezvous Bay Pond is in the background of the photo above, with a pile of modern incidentals visible in the foreground. No doubt, some inhabitant of Blowing Point considered this would improve the view, or he would not have placed the pile there.

You do not have to go as far as the pond. The above photo was taken at the start of the road. It shows that it is OK to throw your garbage right in the middle of the village. Just in front of your neighbour’s house, if you want.

On the road to Cap Juluca Hotel, just as you leave the main road, there is a collection of garbage on the west of the road. It has been there for months. I have been checking each week to see if anyone will remove it. No, it just grows bigger and bigger.

Further down the Cap Juluca road, is the sight above. There is an even larger mound of garbage just off the eastern side of the road. It covers an area of about a quarter of an acre. It takes quite a lot of work to build up such a collection of garbage. It requires even more concentrated effort on the part of the relevant authorities to let this mountain of garbage grow from week to week, with no sign of a dent being made in it.

This is a different view of the same spot. It shows one of our premier locally-owned tourism destinations in the background. The owners have invested millions on this development. We have to hope that their guests do not come out of their rented accommodation and walk up the road. The above is the view they will be greeted with.

This is perhaps my favourite landscape feature. On the picturesque back road from South Hill to Long Bay, there is a magnificent view eastwards to Sandy Ground and Crocus Bay. As you can see, the scenery is livened up by bags of contemporary stuff artfully placed alongside the road by some of the more thoughtful residents of Long Bay. You are encouraged to stop for a moment and take a photo, as I did.
Send me your favourite photos of Anguilla's landscape features. Perhaps, we can do a follow up post?


  1. The illegal dumpig problem is compounded by the inadequacy of the companies paid to remove the garbage.Elmoalis regularly skips garbage pickup days without any penalty from government.Their excuse is usually " it was raining" or "the truck broke down",
    also it skips pickups on holidays.
    They get paid and don't perform a professional service.There are not enough large bins, so that even when they pickup regulary there is too much garbage for the existing ones and garbage overflows. The installing of large containersize trash bins in strategic locations around the island would alleviate such a problem, also the adding of large bins and a more professional garbage removal company. In addition if Anguillians and non-A stopped throwing garbage outside their windows it wouldn't look like we live in a garbage dump.Who is the minister responsable for garbage cfollection oversight?He should be held responsable, and if he can't address the situation properly the porfolio should be given to someone who cares and can.

  2. As a frequent visitor to Anguilla, I am always amazed by the amount of litter on your island paradise. If you go to the end of the road at The Cove by Smokeys and the SW corner of Temenos you will find 2 beautiful rusted fridges right on the beach. Don't even try to count the beer bottles. It's amazing how little people care about their surroundings.

  3. Garbage is the responsibility of Environmental Health. The Minister responsible, alas, seems only interested in sports development.

  4. If we pick up other people's trash, doesn't it just prove to them that if they dump their garbage wherever is convenient, someone will come along and take it up?

    The only rational answer is enforcement.

  5. There is illegal dump near the Corito dump because Eddie, when he was Minister of Health, chose to close and lock the dump after hours so no one will dump stuff in the wrong part of the dump. So they dump it along the roads instead.

  6. Been to Elsie Bay recently? What a disgrace.

  7. I think the problem is largely endemic to the local population. Tourists are not dumping on as large a scale as the locals. I am doing remodeling, and the workers think nothing of eating their lunch on my veranda and then tossing bones and garbage bags right onto my lawn.

    When I discussed this, I was told it's a common practice and that they even toss bones into their own yards. One rationale offered was that the bones would be eaten by dogs.

    But food leftovers draw and provide life-giving nutrients to rats.

    Nearby construction sites show the same problem. Food bags abound. I asked about rats; they said yeah, rats are a problem, but to solve that they put out poison. Brilliant, except that poison is indiscriminate and kills other animals.

    I don't know whether it's laziness, lack of pride, lack of respect, or all of the above, but there has to be a country-wide attitude change. Perhaps shaming is a good start. Talk it up, in newspapers, the radios, sermons, political chambers. and keep it up.

    Sentence minor crime offenders to do trash clean up days. Give anyone caught dumping major trash clean up sentences.

    Here's an idea: let's all go to some Ministers' houses with some garbage to put besides their entrances.

  8. Don,
    AS it relates to the dumping on the back street between Long Bay and South Hill. This has been happening for years and I can assure you that this dumping is not the work of the residents of Long Bay. This is done by those LAZY GREEDY, UNCONCERN, NASTY DRIVERS who are paid by businesses in the area including hotels to dispose of their refuse at Crito.

    This situation was brought to the attention of the environmental Department on several occassions by several concern citizens including residents of Long Bay. However, the concerns appeared to have rec'd little attention from that department.

    I believe that those who commit these acts should receive the full weight of the law and their names be published in the media.

  9. A large load of construction trash was dumped in the bush at Low Ground, which is north of Roaches Hill. I noticed the name of the owner of a new house on two items in this pile. I notified Leroy Richardson at Environmental Health. I spoke to him again a few days later. He confirmed what I had reported and was trying to contact the home owner. He assured me the man would be held responsible, no matter who he may have hired to remove the trash.

    The pile is still there. That was over 12 years ago. Things can move slowly here.

  10. Anonymous said:
    "Garbage is the responsibility of Environmental Health."

    Does NO ONE have any problem with that statement? I think MY GARBAGE is MY responsibility. If my garbage causes public harm, I believe I have an obligation to correct that wrong: maybe by paying a tip or bribe to the truck crew to do a better job; maybe by trucking my own trash to a more secure site; maybe by picking up all the extra stuff twice a week. . . . and of course, by punching out the Minister of Environmental Health physically or metaphorically whenever I have the opportunity.

    But as we say, "the muck stops here."

  11. Try following a local boat race sometime - if you get lost, just follow all the plastic water bottles thrown over the sides of the boats! What's sad is that many of the crew members are fisherman who make their living from the sea. One time when I was crewing, I finished a bottle of water and threw it into the front of the boat. Someone yelled "You tink you in da US???" Over the side went the empty bottle - accompanied by much laughing! Rules call for no dumping from boats, but it's never enforced. Maybe disqualifying a boat sometime might get the message across.

  12. This has been an issue now for years. I am amaze that while so many person KNOW who are carry out these illegal practices no one is being caught or prosecuted. Someone needs to be made an example of. There are so many people with digital and video cameras, take some picutres and post them big and broad. Bring some shame back to Anguilla

  13. When Dr. Jeremy Parr was head of Environmental Health, he promised to "name and shame" such violators, in addition to enforcing the laws that applied to their acts. Alas, his contract ended and it was felt he should be replaced by an Anguillian, rather than renew his stay for another year.

    And so here we are, an island of garbage and excuses, and a Minister of Health who seems to have other priorities.


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