Will fines save us from drowning in trash?
22 January, 2015
Will fines save us from drowning in trash?
As of January 15th, if you litter you will be fined: It makes no difference whether you drop a cigarette butt, scatter sunflower husk on the pavement, throw garbage out of your car, dump your trashcan in the riverbed or let your pet defecate in the street.
The law “On Managing Waste” has already been enforced but it’s difficult to say whether it will work or not. In order to demand environmental protection, people should be provided with the corresponding
infrastructure. First of all, there must be more trashcans in the streets. We, the citizens, should care about the streets and if we don’t litter, we shouldn’t need to worry about personal fines; besides it will be pleasant for us to be in the clean environment.
In order to find out how functional the new law will be, we addressed Neli Korkotadze, Chief State Inspector of the Environmental Supervision Department:

“If we want the law to be functional, only issuing fines is not enough.”

– The new law is in full correspondence with the EU directives and envisages the European regulations. A law can be efficient but you can’t fine people unless there is corresponding infrastructure and trashcans are put in necessary places. For this reason the role of self-governance structures in observing the law is of utmost importance. They should have the system of collecting, removal and placement of the waste on their land. For this reason they were assigned to put in order the infrastructure of specific territories after pre-agreed time.

“The system of video-fines will be used to prevent littering of the environment. There are many video cameras installed in the streets; their number will increase. The environmental protectors as well as the supervision department employees will be equipped with video cameras. No one will be authorized to fine a person without presenting proof.”

– It seems that the law will become functional only for a small territory of Georgia because the trash-cans aren’t everywhere even in Tbilisi.

– This is temporary. The law obliges the municipalities to put the waste-management infrastructure in order. They will be obliged to take the waste to the landfills. In big cities this issue must be regulated soon. It will take relatively longer in villages and highland regions where it isn’t possible to organize landfills due to the geographical conditions.
– How will it be proven that a certain citizen littered in the street? Even I can be held responsible for the garbage thrown by somebody else.

– Every authorized person assigned to reveal the offence will have to back the protocol by photos or videos. Besides, if an offender cleans up everything after being warned, sanctions won’t be imposed on him. Today the system of police video-fines is working effectively. The same method will be used to prevent littering in the environment. There are many video cameras installed in the streets; their number will increase. The environment protectors as well as the supervision department employees will be equipped with video cameras. No one will be authorized to fine a person without presenting proof.

“Unless they video that you cast litter, they won’t be able to fine you.”

– It means that many people (including dog owners) will continue to litter in the places where nobody will control them. Parks and public gardens lack even lighting, let alone security cameras.

– In order not to restrict the dog owners, the municipalities are instructed to organize a special place for them. No fines will be imposed on those territories. As for the other places, unless the place is immediately cleaned, the dog owner will be fined. If we want the law to be functional, only issuing fines isn’t enough. It’s necessary to raise awareness, inform people and bring children up correctly. If you don’t throw the waste out of your window and reproach others doing so in your child’s presence, he will learn how to protect the environment. Besides, if your neighbor litters the place and you don’t call the law-enforcers, you shouldn’t close your eyes and still warn the neighbor not to do the same again… I believe that soon throwing of litter will be a shame.

– Where should the construction waste be taken?

– The municipalities should selgeotv.geect territories where it will be allowed to dispose of inert or other type of waste.

– Where are the orange-color police?

– In spring of 2007, in order to make the citizens of Tbilisi grow out of the habit of throwing waste in the street, a special supervision department was set up at the cleaning services of the Mayor’s Office; it was assigned to reveal those who littered the streets and fine them.

Where did the Orange Police Go?

Since March 5th, 2007 together with the yard-keepers and technical personnel of the cleaning supervision service, it was the so-called orange-color inspection that took care of the clean streets of the capital; but this didn’t last for long. Actually, the fining of the offenders didn’t last more than six months. As it was defined at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, the “orange-colored police” couldn’t work effectively due to the faulty legal system. Because of this Tbilisi couldn’t become the city of exemplary cleanness.

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