Waste dumped at forest

2014-10-15 00:00

THE outskirts of a forest in Howick has become a mass of waste.

Howick’s municipal dump borders the forest, with wire fencing separating the heaps of rubbish from the green forest.

In recent months people from The Zoo informal settlement have been using the municipal dump to gather recyclable goods and start their own recycling operation.

A resident of The Zoo, who did not wish to be named, said the goods are sorted into 40 kg bags and sold to Central Waste in Howick.

The items that are not recyclable are dumped in the forest, soiling the green landscape with plastic bottles, tyres, packets and construction site waste.

uMngeni Municipality spokesperson Thando Mgaga said they hadn’t received any formal complaints, but the municipality was aware of the growing mountain of waste in the forest.

“We suspect the pickers are entering through a broken fence. There are no laws either permitting or prohibiting them from being at the dump.

“We are discussing a policy so they can legally undertake what they are doing and at the same time ensure the dumping in the forest is minimal,” said Mgaga.

It is a priority of the municipality to have a recycling unit operating on the landfill site, Mgaga said.

Central Waste manager Kelvin Lloys-Ellis said their Howick branch had probably been collecting recyclables from the Sappi forest, but the municipality should formalise the project.

He said their branch in Mooi River had recently started a recycling unit in conjuncture with the Mooi River municipal dump and that it was running brilliantly.

“I will talk to them [uMngeni Municipality] about formalising the project so they [the pickers] have a place to sort,” said Lloys-Ellis.

• chelsea.pieterse@witness.co.za

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