eThekwini still tracing source of medical waste on Durban beaches

2016-05-30 21:36
Plastic bottles take a thousand years to bio-degrade and about 80% of them end up in landfills. (iStock)

Plastic bottles take a thousand years to bio-degrade and about 80% of them end up in landfills. (iStock)

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Durban – The eThekwini Municipality on Monday said it was still trying to trace the source of the pharmaceutical waste that washed up on several Durban beaches recently.

City spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa said clean-up operations were still underway.

Addressing an executive committee meeting on Monday, Amanda Bani, from the Parks, Recreation and Culture Unit, said several beaches had been affected by the heavy rains.

"The worst affected beaches were around south of uMngeni River Mouth, Virginia Bush, Suncoast Beach, Beachwood/Mangrove area, as well as Glenashley beaches. There was a proliferation of pharmaceutical waste in the form of anti-retroviral drugs, medication to treat hypertension, heart failure and TB, as well as condoms among the debris."

The City said four beaches, which were temporarily closed for safety reasons, had since reopened.

Deputy City Manager for Community and Emergency Services Musa Gumede said the City could not speculate about where the waste had come from, but that it was clear that it was not dumped at the beach.

"We do not believe it was a big pharmaceutical waste company or a hospital or clinic that dumped this waste, as we did not find items such as used syringes among the debris. There are a few possibilities regarding the source of the waste which we are still investigating," he said.

Read more on:    durban  |  health

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