City’s trash now a curiosity for visiting tourists

2012-01-10 00:00

THE city’s rubbish-strewn streets have now apparently become a curiosity for tourists.

This, as the work of clearing up mountains of garbage from garden refuse sites — which were turned into landfill sites by inconsiderate residents over the festive season, began yesterday.

A grader ploughed its way through the piles of trash at the South Road Garden refuse site, however, the hardest part was getting into the site because rubbish had been dumped outside the gates and all along the road.

Residents had to live with the filth over the festive season and many spoke of the stench, rats and the embarrassment they faced when entertaining visitors from outside the city.

One of the worst dumping sites is along Ottos Bluff Road and the piles of rotting garbage stretch for kilometres along this public main road.

James Arnot, for the Claridge/Otto’s Bluff Community, said this is a road used by tourists and he was most embarrassed when on one of his daily trips along the road, he saw that a bus with tourists from Denmark had stopped so that the visitors could take photographs of the rubbish.

“I found out that they had asked the bus driver to stop because they had never seen anything like this in all their travels.

“They wanted to know who was the mayor and why was nothing being done about the rubbish,” Arnot said.

He added that even more embarrassing was the stench hanging in the air and the rats that were scuttling around.

According to council, staff garden refuse sites are for garden refuse only and not domestic waste.

They believe residents who were on holiday and accumulated much more garbage than usual or who may have slept late and missed the waste removal truck, took the easy option — they dumped their household refuse at the garden sites.

Acting deputy municipal manager for community services Kwenza Khumalo said the councillor at Sobantu township, Thandi Matiwane, carried out her own crusade and went through dumped rubbish and found letters and was able to trace the culprit and called his department in to prosecute.

Khumalo said that going into the new year, public education combined with tracing and prosecuting offenders will have to be an option that has to be pursued.

He said he had signed the schedules for the clearing of all garden refuse sites yesterday morning. However, this is a task that will take days given the volume of garbage dumped. He added that this was a huge and unnecessary expense that can be avoided.

Khumalo said in the future there are plans to develop the garden refuse sites as recycling centres as well.

The Link Road site was also turned into a dumping ground, though the Prestbury one remained in order.

Residents are also concerned that the concrete at the Link Road site is giving way and believe something needs to be done before it caves in.

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