The scourge of dumping is a major concern for communities throughout Cape Town, with mayor Dan Plato addressing the issue during a full sitting of council on Thursday.“We need our communities to report the criminals who are making their communities dirty, unsafe and unsightly. And while our councillors know this number very well, let me remind the public of the contact number now: 021 480 7700. I want everybody in Cape Town to know that number and to use it to report problems in their neighbourhoods,” Plato said.There are 26 drop-off sites across the city for garden refuse, builder’s rubble and any other items that don’t fit into wheelie bins. Anyone found to be dumping illegally will be fined between R5 000 and R15 000; and if caught dumping from a vehicle, the City will impound that vehicle too. “If they want to get their vehicle back it’s going to cost them another R8 400, so go ahead. If you think R23 400 is worth your dumping then we will take your money, put it back into delivering services, and you will still have to cleanup your mess and take it to where it should be dumped,” Plato added. The City has also allocated another R115m towards cleaning up communities. . R56m for additional cleaning of informal settlements . R14m to recruit EPWP workers for community cleanups . R20m for the Area Cleaning Division in the Solid Waste Management Department in poorer areas . R25m for the Recreation and Parks Department for grass cutting and maintenance across all wards.“People who are dumping and littering illegally should be ashamed. They are not only showing complete disregard for our bylaws, they are making us spend money that could have been spent elsewhere; and, most importantly, they are showing a massive disrespect for their own communities.It is well established how grime can lead to crime, which is why we have placed such a big focus on cleaning up our communities,” said Plato.Meanwhile, ward councillor for central Grassy Park, Shanen Rossouw, has already eyed plans for a solid waste drive.“The drive will be soon. I am compiling all the stakeholders, where we have the environmental officials, collections, the grab-a-truck people, the solid waste cleansing and law enforcement here. As a subcouncil, together is what I suggest is that each ward do the drive on the same day. We will send out flyers into the community and ask them to bring whatever tools they have and as a community, in each ward, like I have 22 illegal dumping hotspots in my ward, which is a lot,” she said.She also said she will put forward a proposal to council for the City’s Solid Waste Management Department to visit the worst affected areas twice a week.“Maybe that can resolve some of the problems, but it won’t resolve all of the problems. We are straining the resources already with the cleaning now. If you clean a dumping zone now, within five minutes people come and dump. I experienced this myself. We rather do that and have these awareness campaigns and take a no-nonsense approach,” she said.“A big challenge in our wards is the scrapyards in people’s backyards. We cannot just take it away, it is also their bread and butter, their business. [It is to] the frustration and detriment of the community, but we can’t just say we want to stop that, we don’t want that anymore and we are going to deal with you. You need to give them an alternate space. I am looking for a space where they can come and sort out whatever they want and recycle. That is all the things we need to put in place.” she said.