Dr. Cleon Athill, the United Progressive Party’s Candidate-Elect for St. Paul, appears to have the victim of political discrimination, perpetrated by the National Solid Waste Management Authority. Athill said that her garbage bins have not been cleared regulary going on four weeks now, and it is clearly not an oversight by the Authority.
Other householders, at times, have complained about the irregularity of their trash collection; but that usually has been due to the contractors being paid late by the Authority. However, other residences on Athill’s road had their garbage collected, with only her containers still standing full of trash.
“Everybody else in the neighbourhood [had their bins cleared] and mine is left. It is so obvious that it is what they mean to do,” Dr. Athill told another news network. Every time it has happened, she says, she has reported the matter to the Solid Waste Authority. And, last week the collectors came after two weeks of being called. Athill says she is now waiting to see whether her bins will be cleared this Friday, when the next garbage collection rolls around.
Alternative means of disposing of household garbage are few, since burning requires a permit from the Fire Department. Fire Chief Elvis Weaver has repeatedly reminded residents about this requirement, and also advised that, due to the ongoing drought, permission to light fires is unlikely to be granted.
Athill, a very outspoken advocate for good governance, emerged recently as the UPP’s likely pick to contest the next general election in St. Paul’s, going up against the Antigua Labour Party’s Paul Chet Greene. She has long been a target of abuse and ridicule by Prime Minister Gaston Browne on social media and was removed from her position as Director of Youth early in his administration.