Yard-sprucing companies messing up the neighbourhood

| 06/04/2017

It seems that there are yard-maintenance companies who do not bother to pick up the garbage in the public places they are hired to maintain, but rather use their blowers to blow it into the street or into the neighbour’s property. In addition, there is an alarming increase of yard-maintenance companies who do not have any “professional” appearance whatsoever, meaning they appear to pull illegal trailers (i.e. no licence plate, no brake lights).

Is there a central authority that one can complain to? It doesn’t appear that DEH or RCIPS is concerned with any of these as they should be aware of these issues just as much as any other resident who has two functioning eyes.

Auntie’s answer: What you describe is annoyingly ironic, that companies tasked with making someone’s yard look nice and tidy are, at the same time, responsible for messing up the surrounding area.

For the rubbish aspect of your question, the regulating body is indeed the Department of Environmental Health (DEH), which explained, “The ‘blowing of waste products/trimmings’ into the streets or other property is considered littering and the offenders/company can be penalised under The Litter Law (1997 Revision).”

I hope you will be heartened to hear that this situation has caught the attention of the department because an official added, “The DEH will be more active in enforcing this aspect of the laws as it appears to be a common approach by several companies. Some companies have been verbally warned in the past to curtail such practices and they complied; however, several other companies are non-compliant.”

To help nab those miscreants, the department is also encouraging members of the public to let them know when they see a company blowing trash around or otherwise breaking the law. Call (949-6696) or email the DEH to register a complaint.

As for the issue with illegal trailers, this is a matter for the Department of Vehicle and Drivers Licensing and was covered in a previous column (see Missing licence plates and illegal trailers).

In addition, if you want to complain about the DEH or any other government entity other than the RCIPS you can take that to the Office of the Complaints Commissioner (OCC). Here is a link to the OCC website for information on how to do that.

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Category: Ask Auntie, Environmental Questions

Comments (8)

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  1. Sol says:

    Happened to me before , owner of bussinesses hire company to cleanup i clean up the day before 5am and blowing outside woke me up at 7 i come outside and a mountain of leaves in my yard i took some pictures and email them to the bussinessman email next day company was back ?Cleaning up my yard , Me: why would u do that . him maam i didnt know it was going over :me So ?Where do u think it was going if your not picking it up

  2. Anonymous says:

    And what will the DEH do? Ask me if this is annoying me and interrogate me to make me sound like the perpetrator. Been there, done that. waste of time.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Suck, don’t blow.

  4. Anonymous says:

    The DEH came to my street and cut down 2 of my trees without my permission and put the remains on my neighbor’s property leaving me the mess to clean up on my own. When asked why they would do such a thing I was told “they needed to clear the overhead so the new garbage trucks wouldn’t get scratched by the leaves.” Seems funny to me as I have never seen the garbage truck drive anywhere but down the center of all the side roads. Shameful, disrespectful and out of control government agency with no oversight.

  5. Anonymous says:

    I wish they would just stop selling those blowers, they are good for nothing here. What ever happened to a good old rake.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have noticed the “island Rake Job” all over the island. Trash is raked into a pile and left. Wind blows trash all over, Pile is raked together, left and prossess starts over. the pile is never picked up. DEH puts out barrels along beach in WB but they are constantly over flowing. Need to hire more relatives or get some work out of what they have.

    • Rod says:

      They also sell the blowers that suckup waste materials in to a bag! Just got to change a law or make a new law with heavy fines.

    • Anonymous says:

      Amen! Many cities have by-laws that prohibit leaf blowers. It’s time Cayman outlawed them as well. They smell, they release fumes and they blow garbage everywhere that no one bothers to rake up and put in a bag. As long as it’s blown off the property that is being cleaned, it seems the maintenance crew considers their job done.