Don’t dump your mess

2015-05-05 06:00
A spike in dumping has seen the Observatory Improvement District calling for assistance from residents.


A spike in dumping has seen the Observatory Improvement District calling for assistance from residents. PHOTO: supplied

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Dumping in Observatory soared last month, with over 40 cases reported to the Observatory Improvement District (Obsid).

In a social media posting, Obsid reported cleaning over 3059 bags of rubbish off the streets, with 43 cases of dumping reported for March alone.

Graffiti was removed 52 times.

Obsid chief operating officer Brian ­Amery says around two-thirds of the dumping was household waste, with the rest coming from construction.

“I think the household dumping is just ­laziness of people who cannot be bothered to get a wheely bin. There is a lot of dumping of food by some of the rogue clubs,” he says.

“There are too many people with no pride in the urban environment. And to an extent, it is because Obsid does such a good job in cleaning up.”

Dumping is a huge problem that escalates exponentially when the first dump happens without being detected, Observatory Civic Association chairperson Marc Turok says.

“Observatory residents and businesses need to get a grip on the areas around where they live and work and to constantly look out for all illegal activity, including dumping,” he says.

“The Observatory Neighbourhood Watch is actively recruiting people to be made aware of how to make a difference in actively looking out for anti-social activities and how to report them.”

The dumping tends to take place mostly at night, Amery says.

“Dumping tends to be around the clubs and restaurants.

“Building rubble is also frequently dumped on the Salt River side and in our industrial area. Some student houses are also frequent offenders,” he says.

And cleaning up this mess places strain on Obsid’s resources, Amery says.

“The impact is a significant extra workload for Obsid. If we report it to the council they are usually too slow to respond and the food will rot and stink. Builder’s rubble has to be shovelled up onto our bakkie and taken to Woodstock dump,” he explains.

Turok warns against intervening directly or making unreasonable accusations.

“But we have to report what may seem inappropriate behaviour even without proof.

“If we all take an active stand, we can change the pattern of crime in Observatory and this includes dumping,” he says.

Reporting all incidents will also ensure they are cleaned up promptly, says Turok.

“If not, others simply will add to the pile as if it is a designated legitimate place to dump, adding to the pile with no sense of doing anything wrong. Minor littering, if permitted, becomes an acceptable norm,” he says.

Obsid is now calling on the community to assist in catching perpetrators.

“We have offered a reward for information leading to successful prosecution. We have reported offenders to metro law ­enforcement and we will continue to do so,” Amery says.

Residents are also encouraged to get evidence in the form of photos of numberplates and other details. V

Report dumping to the Obsid control room on 021 447 1066

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