If you are among the residents frustrated with sporadic refuse collection, this should soon be resolved.The City of Cape Town’s refuse collection services should see steady, progressive improvement over the next three weeks following disruptions to refuse removal times and subsequent backlogs.The backlogs were caused by revised procedures to audit and governance processes that came into effect from Friday 24 January affecting repairs to vehicles and infrastructure throughout the municipality. “This is primarily being felt in the solid waste collections service due to the high demands placed on vehicles in the service and the associated intensive maintenance programmes that are required to keep the service working normally,” says Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg.“The entire city is affected in varying degrees from day to day. The situation is dependent on the availability of refuse compactor vehicles.” The finalisation of 709 purchase orders for the servicing of its 211 refuse vehicles in line with the new audit requirements should see that matter resolved.“Suppliers are also being requested to speed up repairs and maintenance of vehicles to get them back on the road again. Where applicable, senior staff in the solid waste service has also been recalled from leave to ensure contingencies, such as redistribution of vehicles to worse-affected areas, are in place to minimise the impact on residents while the backlog of vehicle repairs is being tackled,” says Limberg.“We have worked hard to ensure that the revised procedures do not have an indefinite negative impact on service delivery. City financial experts have developed ways to speed up the procurement process in a manner that is compliant with the new audit and governance requirements while at the same time, together with our solid waste department, everyone has done their utmost to ensure that the impact on services is minimised wherever humanly possible. We know that our residents are proud of our reliable refuse collection services and of the City’s sound governance. Our commitment to top service delivery remains strong,” says Mayco member for finance, Ian Neilson. From Monday 16 March, a new service schedule was implemented which will mean that refuse collection should not be delayed by more than one day. “Residents throughout the city should please bring their bins out by 07:00 in the morning, and leave them outside until 21:00 until collected. Residents are also implored not to resort to illegal dumping if collection delays cause refuse to build-up to the point where it cannot fit in the wheelie bins,” says Limberg. With residents needing to leave their bins out for extended periods of time, the risk of theft also increases. Limberg says: “It is unfortunately necessary for our staff to work overtime to ensure that residents continue to receive the collection service. We understand that bins are at risk of theft, and stolen bins are replaced free of charge. In order to have a stolen bin replaced, the resident must report the matter to police and make a sworn affidavit. Thereafter they may call the call centre on 086 010 3089 or visit a municipal cash office, and have on hand their municipal account number and the affidavit. A request (C3) will be created for the bin to be replaced. The replacement bin will be delivered within seven working days.”While in some instances refuse has not been collected, the City says they are unable to rebate refuse collection tariffs charged.“The current tariff charged for refuse removal is a monthly tariff. As such, we are not able to apportion into weekly instalments. The service is being provided but in some cases is delayed. We assure residents that all beats are being completed. If refuse has not been collected within a day of the scheduled collection this should be reported to the call centre,” says Limberg. The risk of illegal dumping has also increased. “Illegal dumping occurs in all areas across the city and it is not possible to identify the motivation behind it. Excess refuse that cannot fit in the wheelie bins will also be collected until this problem is resolved.” Residents are also implored not to resort to illegal dumping if collection delays cause refuse to build up to the point where it cannot fit in the wheelie bins. “The City apologises for this inconvenience. We want to thank our residents for their patience during this time while every effort is being made to restore normal service,” says Limberg.