City combats dumping

2015-05-19 06:00
Mayor Patricia de Lille and JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, inspect the site of illegal dumping in Philippi.

Mayor Patricia de Lille and JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, inspect the site of illegal dumping in Philippi.

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A man has been caught red-handed during an operation focused on illegal dumping in Philippi and Mitchell’s Plain.

Mayor Patricia de Lille and members of the City of Cape Town’s task teams visited a few illegal dumping hotspots.

“I was shocked to see the vast amount of illegal dumping and the complete disregard for the law as well as the health of the public and the environment,” De Lille says. “During our inspections, our teams found a man illegally dumping building rubble at one of the illegal dumping hotspots in Philippi.”

The man was issued with a written notice to appear in court with an admission of guilt fine for R5000.

Staff from City enforcement agencies, including solid waste management and law enforcement, regularly monitor illegal dumping hotspots. Since the beginning of the year they have issued fines totalling about R1m.

“Earlier this morning, these enforcement teams also found illegally dumped medical waste at two sites in Philippi and Beacon Valley. The waste included expired tablets, old medicine bottles and expired baby food. As part of our efforts to improve service delivery and create a safe environment for residents, the City is committed to stamping out illegal dumping,” De Lille says.

She adds that dumping not only places a burden on the City’s finances and resources, but can also pose a threat to public health.

“In April 2013, three-year-old Jordan Lewis died after playing near illegally dumped chemical waste in Delft. To combat this problem, the City spends more than R350m annually to clear waste from open spaces, sewerage systems and toilets – money that could be much better spent on new services and infrastructure. For example, the City could have built 2065 houses or provided electricity for 31 627 homes,” says De Lille.

The City is amending its bylaws to enable the impounding and forfeiture of cars used in dumping.

“This measure is used internationally and has proven to be very effective in deterring illegal dumping. Although illegal dumping occurs across the city, there are certain hotspots where the problem is more prevalent,” she says. These areas include Mitchell’s Plain, Nyanga, Philippi and Epping Industria.

“Today we saw how, despite our monitoring and regular operations, perpetrators continue to show little regard for the law, or for public and environmental health. We have therefore shifted our focus from being reactive, to taking a more proactive approach. We simply cannot keep spending money on a problem that is 100% avoidable,” De Lille states.

In March the City announced that cash rewards of up to R1000 would be offered for information that leads to a positive outcome against criminal activity, including illegal dumping.

“There is no reason for residents to dump waste illegally. The City has 25 waste drop-off sites around the metro for the proper disposal of waste,” says De Lille.

V

Report problems and perpetrators by calling 021 400 6157 or e-mail solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za. Alternatively, call the City’s call centre on 0860 103 089. Visit the City’s website for a list of waste drop-off sites at www.capetown.gov.za/en/Solidwaste2/Pages/Dropoffandrecyclingpoints2.aspx

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