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Litterbug Charlie 

CharLiE© is the ultimate litterbug and resident of illegal dumping grounds.  He deplores spaces that are clean and beautiful, preferring instead, to wallow in filth and garbage.

CharLiE was created in 1981 during SWMCOL’s first year of operation. At that time, CharLiE epitomized our lack of respect for our beautiful island environment, particularly when it came to littering.  In fact, while CharLiE was designated President General for Life of the Association of Trinidad & Tobago Messmakers, Inc. he also wore the following hats:

  • President, Union of Litterbugs and Garbage Dumpers
  • Captain, Rusty Tin Can Steel Orchestra
  • Manager, Broken Bottle Percussionists
  • PRO, Mosquito Larvae Water Polo Club
  • Poet Laureate: ”Let no one say and say to your shame, that all was messy here until you came”.
  • Keynote Speaker, Save the Pothole Society

You can smell him from a mile away thanks to his favourite after-shave, Eau de Yuck – a dirty, mucky green liquid collected from nasty drains.  He goes nowhere without his favourite pets: flies!

His favourite colour is rust and his favourite words, Ugh! and Phew! are uttered only when he finds himself in what he regards as a disgustingly pristine, beautiful environment.

SWMCOL was CharLiE’s nemesis, spearheading the clean-up of communities through the formation of NAGs or Neighbourhood Action Groups; providing litter bins where needed, and altogether encouraging citizens to “Chase CharLiE Away” by keeping their environment clean, healthy and beautiful.

For several months over the period 1981 to1984 SWMCOL produced a monthly CharLiE newsletter that highlighted, inter alia, the successes of neighborhood campaigns to eradicate CharLiE, followed CharLiE’s exploits during the Christmas and Carnival seasons, and countered CharLiE’s “award” to fellow litterers by bestowing a Solid Waste Management Award on those who did the right thing and kept a clean scene.

SWMCOL’s CharLiE campaign in the 1980s made a tremendous impact on Trinidad & Tobago and is still fondly remembered today.  Persons found littering public spaces or who seemed unfazed by garbage-ridden places were likened to CharLiE and NAGged to change their behaviour.  No-one wanted to be labelled a CharLiE and bit by bit the national environment was cleaned up, its island beauty restored, and CharLiE became harder to find.

Unfortunately, thanks to pervasive littering and the indiscriminate dumping of unsightly mounds of garbage, our beautiful islands are marred once again by the prevalence of illegal dumpsites, clogged drains, waterways and coastlines, and trash just about everywhere you look.  And so Litterbug Charlie is rubbing his hands together in glee because he has tons of fans who are just as messy as he is. He also has his band of mischief-making Binions – trashbins who behave only when people put trash in them.

Fight CharLiE and his Binions’ litter-loving ways by interacting with them on our CharLiE the Litterbug FaceBook page.


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