Worry over waste drop-off closure

2019-05-14 06:00

The closure of the Retreat waste drop-off facility could lead the City of Cape Town to spend even more on the clean-up of illegally dumped waste, which currently costs hundreds of millions of rands annually.

The facility, located at Tenth Avenue in Retreat, has been closed since Monday 8 April to allow for upgrades.

According to Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, about 793 tons of builders’ rubble had been dumped at this facility in the last year, as well as 828 tons of unrecyclable garage waste, 870 tons of garden greens and 17.7 tons of recyclable waste.

The new site will take on upgrades to the value of R22m, which will make drop-off and loading of waste easier, and place emphasis on recycling.

Limberg explains: “The existing site was a basic drop-off site consisting of a hardened area with waste skips at ground level and prefab buildings.

“The upgraded facility will include concrete ramps that will make loading the skips much easier.

“A large recycling area will be provided. Brick and mortar buildings will be provided together with upgraded fencing and security,” Limberg elaborates.

While the upgrade is intended to improve the facility and therefore the process of dropping off and removing waste, ward 72 councillor, Kevin Southgate is concerned about the repercussions in the meantime.

“The closure poses a huge challenge in that the locals who use the site don’t always have the resources to travel to the alternative sites located in Wynberg and Muizenberg, and this will increase the risk of illegal dumping,” he says.

According to Southgate, residents have inquired on the alternative locations that they may use, but have expressed that without clear indications at the facility and the inability to spend extra money to travel further, they may resort to dumping their waste at the side of the road or in open fields.

In a statement released earlier this year, Mayco member for safety and security, JP Smith, said: “This inconsiderate and illegal behaviour costs the City more than R300 million a year to try and clean up.”

He urged residents of the city to seek out one of the 26 facilities available to dump their waste (25 facilities, with the temporary closure of Retreat), rather than to dump waste illegally.

Mayor Dan Plato also warned residents against illegal dumping in the statement, saying: “Any person found to be dumping illegally is issued with a Section 56 written notice, which carries a fine of R5 000. The dumper is also liable for an impoundment release fee of R8 426 before they can reclaim their vehicle.”

The facility is set to be reopened in December.

V Report illegal dumping to 021 480 7700 from a cellphone or 107 from a landline.

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