Skips to curb dumping

2019-11-26 06:00
Blue skips like these have been placed across the city, including in Woodlands and Tafelsig.PHOTO: Samantha Lee-Jacobs

Blue skips like these have been placed across the city, including in Woodlands and Tafelsig.PHOTO: Samantha Lee-Jacobs

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You may have noticed a blue skip container situated in an open field near you and if you did, that area has been identified as a dumping hotspot.

The City of Cape Town has allocated several skips in and around the city with a few being placed in Mitchell’s Plain.

Mayco member for water and waste Xanthea Limberg says 86 skips have been deployed around Cape Town where residents can dispose of excess waste that would otherwise be dumped in public open spaces.

“The City has a scheduled removal service for all placed skips. These skips will remain in the located areas until the end of the financial year (end of June 2020). Should more funds become available, the skips will be kept at the existing locations,” says Limberg.

“The Tafelsig area experiences a very high volume of illegal dumping, to the extent that it happens daily at some hotspots. This is also very challenging to the police due to the huge scale of the problem and the limited law enforcement resources we have available. In communities where dumping happens very regularly, whether a skip is present or not, the City believes the benefits of placing a skip outweigh the downsides.”

But the situation highlighted in Tafelsig is not isolated as Limberg says dumping takes place in all areas of the city.

Any person found to be dumping illegally is issued with a section 56 written notice, which carries a fine of R5 000 with the possible impoundment of their vehicle. The dumper is also liable for an impoundment release fee of R8 426 before they can reclaim their vehicle.

Over the past three months, the City’s solid waste department has issued 191 fines.

“It is simply not possible for cleansing staff to be in all areas at all times of the day. It is crucial we work together in the fight against grime, by not littering or dumping and by reporting those who do,” says Limberg.

The City budgets between R110 and R120 million for the clearing of illegal dumping hotspots each year.

“Despite the development of extensive infrastructure and processes to curb illegal dumping – such as the establishment of drop-off facilities and legislation supporting waste disposal plans – the practice persists and there are approximately 1 000 large dumping hotspots across the City,” says Limberg. “This places an enormous strain on the City’s resources and, consequently, on its ability to deliver services to residents. Money could be much better spent elsewhere on new services and infrastructure.”

Limberg continues that law-abiding residents suffer the consequences of illegal dumping.

“For this to change, we need their help in reporting offenders. The support of Cape Town’s citizens is crucial to identifying offenders and making sure they are brought to book,” says Limberg.

“The untidiness of an area is not due to a lack of cleansing but some members of the public who choose to dump their litter along a walk-way and other public spaces, instead of in the bins. Areas in which high volumes of food waste are present are, unfortunately, very attractive to vermin. For this reason, businesses and food outlets are encouraged to apply for extra bins and more frequent collection to contain this occurrence,” she says.

  • Report illegal dumping by calling 0860 103 089, or if you have the culprit’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her, call 021 400 6157 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za with the relevant information.

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