Reckless dumping in city

2017-05-08 14:00
Heaps of rubbish left lying outside the recycling bins provided at the Prestbury garden refuse site.INSET: A great effort to clean up the city by Janet and Hayden Edwards who took it upon themselves to clean up the area around their home on Bulwer Street.
PHOTO: supplied

Heaps of rubbish left lying outside the recycling bins provided at the Prestbury garden refuse site.INSET: A great effort to clean up the city by Janet and Hayden Edwards who took it upon themselves to clean up the area around their home on Bulwer Street. PHOTO: supplied (Steph Saville/Supplied)

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Is it the municipality’s lack of concern and manpower or are some residents just blatantly disobeying the rules?

Whatever the reason, no one should be using the municipal garden refuse sites to dump domestic waste.

In a city where illegal dumping has all but swallowed up a once beautiful Pietermaritzburg, everyone should be playing their part in ensuring the city is brought back to its former glory — including the municipality.

Environmental consultant Judy Bell raised the issue using the Link Road garden refuse site as an example.

Bell said a “wall” of plant waste, some of it in bags and some loose, has been left lying along the edge of the off-loading area.

“Surely this should be removed regularly,” she wrote to Witness Warriors.

Bell said the area had become a source of invasive alien plants due to the dumping and the Ketelfontein Grasslands nearby are an important mist-belt grassland area that need to be protected.

“They are integral parts of the Pietermaritzburg water ‘factories’, modulate stormwater flows to reduce flooding downstream, and also sequestrate carbon to help us with climate change.

“Surely it is now time to chip the waste to reduce the volume so it can be taken by those making compost.

“It will add to their raw materials being reused and avoiding landfill. This activity is adding to the greenhouse gases generated from the New England and other landfills in the area.

“We have to reduce our emissions currently driving climate change,” Bell said in her letter to Witness Warriors.

Msunduzi spokesperson Thobeka Mafumbatha said the problem facing the municipality was that community members abuse the sites by dumping domestic refuse and building rubble.

She appealed to residents to treat the legal dumping sites “as sacred places”.

“We must keep our city clean. Cleanliness is next to Godliness,” she said.

At the Link Road garden refuse site, people are dumping their refuse next to the front gate or at the nearby plantation. One resident said sometimes the dumping was the result of municipal workers not arriving on time, so the gate was locked.

Although the Link Road garden refuse site and the issues it faces was used as an example in this instance, all seven garden refuse sites in the city face similar challenges.

Msunduzi resident Rob Dempster applauded the staff at the Link Road garden refuse site for their hard work.

He challenged Msunduzi Mayor Themba Njilo and the city council to visit the site and meet the staff operating the dump.

“They do an excellent job under the most difficult of circumstances,” Dempster said.

There are seven garden refuse sites in Msunduzi:

Link Road, Prestbury, Richie Road in Pelham, The Grange, Sobantu, Eastwood and South Road in Northdale. The Woodlands garden refuse site has closed down. The sites are open daily from 7 am to 5 pm.

Read more on:    pietermaritzburg

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