City delays decision to close down refuse sites

2013-10-07 00:00

THE Msunduzi Municipality has delayed a decision to close down six garden refuse sites in the city.

There have been improvements in the management of these sites and the Executive Committee (Exco) at its meeting on Thursday decided that the sites should be monitored for a further six months before any final decision is taken.

The sites recommended to be closed down were South Road, Woodlands, Eastwood and the Grange garden refuse centres. Those that were not considered for closure were Link Road, Prestbury and Ritchie Road. Recently there were demands for Ritchie Road to be closed as well.

Richard Rajah, the manager for waste management, presented a report to Exco explaining that a lot of effort, time and cost had been invested into cleaning and clearing up the eight garden refuse sites in the city. “Nothwithstanding all the challenges with regards to abuse by users, poor vehicle availability and financial constraints, the problems have been approached positively by the staff directly involved and there have been positive results,” he said.

Rajah added that containers had been repaired and more containers had been made available on the sites. A front-end loader and tip trucks had been hired for use by the sites. In addition, gates had been repaired and fences mended in the South Road, Eastwood and Woodlands sites. According to Rajah, they were still to repair the guard houses in South Road, Sobantu , Eastwood and Ritchie Road. Toilets also needed to be built at Prestbury and Link Road. The poor and fading signage at the sites will also be replaced during the current financial year.

Rajah recommended that due to the recent improvements on the sites, they should be monitored for a further period of six months to ascertain if these improvements can be sustained in the long term. Exco agreed to review the situation early next year.

The city’s garden refuse sites became the casualty of an extended strike by refuse removal workers in 2011. Residents began dumping household waste at the sites and because the city was under administration and lacked the funds, cleaning up of the sites took a long time.

However, despite the best efforts of the municipality, illegal dumping continued after hours and Rajah recommended that the council’s security division needs to play their part in effecting after hours patrols.

With the stench and the piles of rubbish at the garden refuse sites giving rise to a rodent infestation, many residents started calling for their closure. Other residents however, felt that it was important for suburbs to have garden refuse sites because not everyone could go to the New England Road dump.

They also argued that the closure of the sites would result in an increase in illegal dumping in the city.

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