Overflowing with rubbish

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 05 June, 1997, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 05 June, 1997, 12:00am

On May 22, returning from a shopping expedition, I waited for a taxi at the top of Lyndhurst Terrace at the corner of Hollywood Road.

I had two empty Coca-Cola cans and an empty water bottle neatly bagged together with a small amount of paper.

Seeing an Urban Council litter bin opposite, I asked my maid to take the bag across the road and deposit it at the bin provided.

At the time, it was overflowing.

My maid neatly put the tied bag beneath the bin, only to be stopped by a gentleman who demanded her ID card and issued her with a summons to appear at the Magistrate's Court for the offence of 'littering a public place'.

The notice was entirely written in Chinese, which neither of us can read or speak.

I telephoned the Urban Council the following day, to ask for an explanation, as I was and still am totally unaware that we were committing an offence.

In fact, we had carried our refuse a considerable distance in the hope of finding a legal and decent way to dispose of it.

The public health inspector advised me that I should have gone to 'the central refuse depot'.

My family and I take great care not to litter the streets, my children and my staff are strictly trained to carry any litter until they can dispose of it properly without causing a nuisance.

But expecting to know where there is a 'central refuse depot' to dispose of a can of cold drink does seem unreasonable.

I have since taken a daily photograph of the litter bin at midday. It is always overflowing.

Does the Urban Council wish to assist in creating a clean environment? B M OWEN Mid-Levels