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The beachfront portion of the reclamation project in Layou completed in 2006.
The beachfront portion of the reclamation project in Layou completed in 2006.
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The views expressed herein are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent the opinions or editorial position of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected]

The long overdue decision of the government of SVG to ban styrofoam products, effective May 1, 2017 ( ), as welcome as it is, will do nothing to reduce the rampant pollution of our gutters, streams, and unsupervised public and private properties by all manner of unwanted produce.

I base this comment on the following recent observation from the scruffy town of Layou where we often stop to look for fish on the way to bathe at Mt. Wynne or Cumberland, supplemented by the idiom, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.”

On an early morning drive along the Layou bayside last week, I spotted several people near the jetty and assumed fish were being sold. This was not so though a few small boys, school truants no doubt, were fishing with hook and line off the pier. As we turned to leave, I glanced at the large drains fronting the huge retention wall completed 11 years ago in response to road flooding due to beach erosion, much of it caused by generations of personal and commercial sand and stone mining, a process that continues unabated at Jackson’s Bay and adjacent Bambareaux, presumably with the benign neglect of the area’s representative, Sir Louis Straker, who lives in an opulent mansion within eyeshot of the beach.

Below are some photos of the rampant dumping of styrofoam containers, presumably thrown in the drain after the consumption of our new national dish — fried chicken and chips — bought at Edmund Durham’s shop across the road. Though it is popular fast food outlet, Mr. Durham, as far as I know, has never seen fit to provide a garbage bin for his customers.

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Styrofoam 1
The landside portion of the reclamation project.

The photo above shows the back part of the reclamation project: the retaining wall, the overflow gutter, and the pedestrian sidewalk, the latter containing two of the concrete benches and one of several concrete garbage containers (shown under the lamppost) that were installed as part of the project. The benches and bins have remained unchanged, presumably due to their size and weight, but the plastic garbage cans that came untethered with the latter were soon stolen, thereby encouraging the random dumping of waste ever since.

Styrofoam 2
A closer view of the litter, most of it styrofoam.

The bayside area is not the only garbage dump in Layou. A quick glance around town would show similar environmental abuse in many alleyways, drains, and vacant lots (see and

Nor is Layou much different from other parts of SVG where the wanton disposal of all manner of refuse is the order of the day.

With such a blatant disregard for our fragile environment by both a faux-nanny state and its nasty citizenry, how can we expect Argyle International Airport to attract tens of thousands more holiday visitors?

Ask Ralph.


C. ben-David

The opinions presented in this content belong to the author and may not necessarily reflect the perspectives or editorial stance of iWitness News. Opinion pieces can be submitted to [email protected].

6 replies on “Styrofoam disposal Layou-style: a photo essay”

  1. My house is not too far from where your pictures were taken and I have been complaining for years about the filth that accumulate in the gutter. This was one of the reasons why I wanted a town council that would take care of the environment. I have seen Trini cleaning one side of the street, but the other side facing the water is always left undone. People complains that the town clerk, a friend of Louis and a ULP supporter doesn’t even leave her office to monitor the streets and gutters.
    Edmond is a friend and he cleans his side of the street every day. You should have taken a picture of that. There are garbage bins in the area, but folks just throw their garbage in the gutter, so don’t blame Edmond. If he puts a garbage bin out there, they would steal it just like they did to those the government placed there.

    1. These bins would have to be secured to the containers or they will again be stolen.

      Went to the new AIA on Wednesday: no bins in the check-in area and only one or perhaps two (I didn’t go to very end of the south part to check) in the entire 150 metre or so length outside arrivals and departures area.

      You have come down on me for singling out Layou so I say again the your town is no worse in this regard than other parts of the mainland.

      1. Dave from Toronto says:


        Your comment failed to mention whether you took the time to inform management at AIA of the need for more bins. Knowing how much you hate the airport and your desire to see it fail, I am reasonably certain that you did nothing to inform the appropriate authorities.

        As owners of both the asset and the liabilities(yes, despite what you write, the citizens of SVG own the airport, not the PM), it’s in your best interest to suggest room for improvement when you come across such issues.

        So, shame on you for leaving with such glee just so that you could get on this site to bad-mouth AIA. You should be ashamed of yourself!!! You should quickl apologize to the rest of us. It’s like owning a condominium, seeing leaks in the roof and failing to report it to management. Eventually, all owners will suffer.

        I await your apology.

      2. Dave from Toronto, you have been in Toronto so long that you don’t remember that complaining to the authorities in backward, little SVG about any matter — personal or public — is a total waste of time since such complaints always fall on deaf ears.

        Shame on you for forgetting this elementary fact about our Vincie “civilization.”

        Please apologize for your ignorance and stupidity.

  2. Patrick Ferrari says:

    We are so completely, entirely, educationally and holistically unprepared for tourism it’s uncanny. If the idea of banning Styrofoam is to prevent this sort of thing, then the banners are the problem.

  3. Thanks again for the information. So many people attack you for writing information about problems in SVG. It saddens me to see old car batteries and lots of other garbage all over SVG. Unfortunately we as a collective have a “liberalist” mindset, as opposed to conservative. A good generalization is:

    A conservative will get angry at you for telling them a lie.

    A liberal will get angry at you for telling them the truth.

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