Deadly dumping

2019-04-02 06:00
Dumped asbestos.

Dumped asbestos.

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Illegal dumping of deadly asbestos has become a problem in ward 72, local councillor Kevin Southgate has revealed. He blamed the community for being part of the problem.

Southgate says residents are asking the “trolley guys” to remove asbestos and dump it on the nearest corner.

“Asbestos is hazardous and can only be dumped at designated sites in the City by approved contractors,” says Southgate. He explains that approved contractors have a license to dispose of asbestos and are required to wear a specialised gear when handling the material.

Southgate adds that there are no specific spots where the asbestos is being dumped. He says people dump indiscriminately in vacant areas across the City.

Southgate says this poses a health risk to residents. “People are also aware that the dumping of asbestos is harmful, however, in order to save money, people dump it and expect the City to collect it. More recently we had someone dump asbestos in full view of a surveillance camera,” he says.

Southgate says the City of Cape Town provides a reliable refuse collection service which includes 25 drop-off facilities across the City. These facilities, he says are available to the residents at no cost. “In the area, the City has illegal dumping prohibition signs everywhere, however, this still does not deter the problem,” he says.

Residents are encouraged to log service requests with the City which it is already doing, collecting and disposing of the asbestos materials and other rubbish.

“Dumping is a behavioural problem that needs to be fixed and so we need ongoing education which starts at home. What do you say when an adult empties his packet of cigarettes and just tosses the empty packet in full view of people or finishes his cooldrink and just tosses the can. These are bad examples, but these are the ones that children follow,” says Southgate.

The City spends approximately R350m of its rates budget on clearing dumped material found on vacant land every year. V Residents are encouraged to report illegal dumping in their community by calling 0860 103 089.

V If someone is spotted dumping waste, residents can assist the City by taking down the culprit’s vehicle registration number and if they can identify him/her, call 021 400 6157 or email: solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za.

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