Garbage overruns an area in the Diego Martin Regional Corporation.

Residents of the Diego Martin Regional Corporation say not enough is being done to regularly collect and dispose of garbage.

This, they said, has resulted in massive piles of garbage accumulating, leading to an unbearable stench, rodents and indiscriminate dumping.Norma Edwards, 64, has been a resident of Upper Haig Street Carenage her entire life and told Guardian Media there is a large, industrial bin near to her home used by several residents of Carenage to dispose of their waste. However, she said once placed in the bin, the removal from there by authorities is not done in a timely manner.

As a result, she said her home is plagued by its stench and is under threat by the vermin the frequently overflowing receptacle attracts. And even when the garbage is removed, she said the stench persists because it is not cleaned.“The stench of the bin alone, we have to close up because of the scent inside the house. I personally would like to invite you or anybody from the regional corporation to come and sit down inside my house when they bring an empty bin or when they have this garbage piled up here…come and sit down and see and smell for alyuh self,” Edwards said. Over the years, she said, she has made several appeals to the regional corporation, through the ombudsman and public health inspectors.

Despite these pleas and even petitions from the community, she has not been successful in having the bin relocated. “It’s encouraging us to get sick. It have people around here, children who have asthma. It sick. We can’t live…this is a real health hazard,” she said. “My husband has served this country by working in that hospital (Port-of-Spain General) for over 40 years. I worked as a legal servant in Legal Affairs for all them years and we are retired now. Why should we suffer…why can’t we live comfortable like other people?”She suggested that the bin is removed and residents instead use individual trashcans to be collected by garbage trucks to avoid the amalgamation of the refuse near her home.Less than six kilometres away near the corner of Riverside Drive and La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin, a similar situation is occurring. The bin also frequently overflows with refuse, spilling onto the road. “I have issues asking them to move that since 2007,” one resident who did not wish to be named told Guardian Media. “All the councillors, all the CEOs, all the chairmen, I’ve dealt with all of them and it comes to zero.”He said there is no fixed schedule for the bin to be emptied by the corporation.

Instead, he said, they wait until it is long passed overfilled before they act. He too explained that the bins were being used by residents from other parts of the area which adds to the issue. When contacted, Diego Martin Regional Corporation chairman Sigler Jack told Guardian Media that he would take the suggestion to replace the communal bins with a more individualised service to the council during their first meeting in a few weeks.

In the meantime, he said he would ask the respective councillors to look into the matter and provide him with a report.