End to illegal dumping?

2013-06-19 00:00

MSUNDUZI Municipality is finally on a drive to deal with illegal dumping in the city. A key project in this regard is going to be the provision of a refuse removal service to informal settlements and to households in the peri-urban areas around Pietermaritzburg.

Refuse collection in these areas will be outsourced to small, medium and micro enterprises (SMMEs).

Once the plan is in place, there will be a service charge of R15 per household.

Details on the project were contained in a report from the municipality’s Community Services Unit. The report also outlined other initiatives currently under way to deal with the problem.

SMMEs were to be used for the refuse collection in the informal settlements because the municipality’s large compactor trucks could not go into the areas as there were no proper roads.

Municipal manager Mxolisi Nkosi said the aim was to curtail illegal dumping, which was getting out of control.

The move will be good news for the Claridge community, who have complained about illegal dumping on the Otto’s Bluff Road for years. No sooner did the municipality’s waste department clean up the dump than it would build up again. It was also good news to resident Lee-Ann Todd, who lives on the Old Wartburg Road, close to an informal settlement. She had been pushing for a skip to be placed in the area because her driveway was being used as a dumping site. According to the report, the lack of skips in the city and the fact that many of them fell into a state of disrepair was a result of the municipality previously lacking the resources to provide this service effectively.

Mayor Chris Ndlela said that on visits to schools in Edendale he had received complaints that skips previously placed at schools had been removed. He asked for this service to be reinstated. Garden refuse sites were also up for scrutiny. The report said that they continue to be abused by residents who dump general household waste in these designated areas instead of just garden refuse. According to the community services report, there was an investigation under way to look at the cost implications of maintaining the sites. The review will include a look at alternate methods of assisting communities to dispose of garden refuse. The report said that the South Road garden refuse site was the worst hit due to illegal dumping by users. As a result, local residents had petitioned for its closure. This request was being reviewed and the waste management division was awaiting a recommendation from the ward councillor on the matter. Other garden refuse sites affected by illegal dumping included Woodlands, Sobantu, the Grange and Eastwood.

While the review was being undertaken, plans were afoot to get the staff to work a staggered day system to cover and extend the hours of use. This was an attempt to put an end to illegal dumping at the sites and to curb overtime costs.

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