FROM PAGE 1Stink over cash for trash

2016-05-19 06:00
Umdoni Municipality landfill site could become the dumping ground for Lebanon’s refuse.

Umdoni Municipality landfill site could become the dumping ground for Lebanon’s refuse.

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“There is no planning around this and no research was presented to ward councillors, although we had asked that homework be done before any decision is made,” said Baptie­.

He said a brief 15-minute presentation was conducted by a person from a private company, who was apparently in partnership with the municipality.

“A week later, an emergency meeting was called and we were asked to make a decision on the matter. Still no research was provided, except that it was a lucrative­ move,” he said.

He said such a project should involve extensive public consultation and an environmental impact report should be conducted. Most people at Umdoni only became aware of the matter after it was reported in the news.

Environmental expert, Caroline­ Schwegman, said the concern was that Umdoni’s dump site simply cannot handle that amount of rubbish coming in every month.

“It accepts domestic and garden waste and is already at the end of it’s lifespan. If this waste is recyclable, why does it have to come here [Umdoni]?” she asked.

“Will this waste be tested by a laboratory before it is allowed into the country. There may be a risk of it carrying viruses and bacteria,” she said.

Speaking to the SABC, Umdoni­ Municipal manager Xolani Luthuli said no agreements have been signed and the council agreed to give instructions to look into the feasibility of it.

He also could not say how much money the municipality could make from the deal if it went ahead.

“Now obviously the figures will be indicated through an agreement on the tonnage that we are going to be receiving at a particular time based on that we will be able to calculate the income. We are in the very first stage of this process,”

When asked about informing the public, Luthuli told the public broadcaster there is no legislation that obliges the municipality to do so.

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