Local environmentalist on Mullet Bay dumping: “People should know better”

POSTED: 01/15/14 11:57 AM

St. Maarten – In a follow up to the story on the many bags of garbage that were left on Mullet Bay beach over the weekend, Reuben Thompson of the SXM Pride Foundation had more to say. He confirmed that the garbage bags and stray litter had been cleared up yesterday morning by Leonard Enterprises. But he was not pleased with the attitude that was displayed toward St. Maarten’s natural resources. “People should know better,” he said emphatically.

He said that the small garbage bins that are placed along the beach are clearly there for small waste items, and should not be used as a dumping ground for large bags filled with trash. “There was a lot of garbage spread all over,” he continued, saying the pictures only showed a part of it. He said there many small red plastic cups with the liquor brand Stoli Vodka written on them strewn over the place. He surmised that stray dogs in the area may have ripped open the bags and spread the garbage around even more.

He reminded beach goers that for large bags of garbage there are big bins in place by the parking area where they can properly dispose of them. He argued that if it is convenient enough for people to bring their stuff to the beach it shouldn’t be a problem for them to walk to the large bins either.

But Thompson didn’t stop there. He is asking for the relevant authorities, including the Economic Affairs Department, to keep an eye on the beaches where illegal vendors are strolling, often harassing tourists for massages, and even selling jewelry and other wares. “Do they have a permit to do this?” he asked rhetorically. “The relevant departments should pay more attention to these things,” he warned, as it could damage our tourism product. “People are harassed.”

Thompson said he is not against these vendors making a living, but it should be done in a legal and controlled manner, with perhaps an area set aside for them where tourists can go at their leisure if they want anything.


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