Illegal dumping draws disaster

Dumping in the area is a major concern for residents.

Illegal dumping in Sub-council 18 has become an ever increasing problem that is getting out of control.

The issue of dumping was discussed at length at the sub-council’s monthly meeting on Thursday January 24.

Ward councillor William Akim said illegal dumping in his ward, Ward 66, which includes Parkwood and Ottery, has worsened since November last year.

“The amount of illegal dumping and the rate at which it is taking place is bad. People are dumping at every public open space and EPWP workers have to clean up at the same hot spots every day,” said Mr Akim.

The Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers are employed by the City.

Building rubble, everyday waste and bulk waste such as broken furniture, washing machines and mattresses can be seen around Parkwood and Ottery.

Some of the hotspots include the Klip Road behind Klip Road Clinic, the canal in Blackbird Avenue, on the corner of Acacia Road and Hoosain Parker, opposite the clinic in Parkwood and within the Parkwood area.

“It’s gotten so bad that rats the size of cats are running around the dumping hot spots – it is a health hazard and it needs to stop,” said Mr Akim.

“Cleanliness leads to holiness and people need to start taking ownership of their communities. In ratepayer areas people take pride in their area but in the council rental stock areas people are dumping everywhere,” he said.

Mr Akim said he understands that there are challenges such as wheelie bins being stolen and people forget to put out their refuse bins.

“There are also backyard dwellers where there are perhaps six families living in one yard but only have one bin. We need people to report this and to start recycling because it will help with the waste problem. Also, people complain that law enforcement and police are not visible but we live in the area, we are the community and we see this. We need to change our mindset and report dumping because these people are defiling our communities,” he said.

Illegal dumpers also set the waste alight to get rid of it or to strip it for copper wires or other metals. This is dangerous because it puts residents and homes at risk. We need to take responsibility to stop these guys and people need to take their rubble away to drop-off sites. When they ask other people to clean, residents need to make sure that their rubble does actually get to the drop-off site instead of the street corner or nearest field,” said Mr Akim.

Mayor Dan Plato said the type of behaviour displayed by illegal dumpers is unacceptable. “It is a risk not only to the environment, but also to public health.

“I have asked the City’s law enforcement officials to be extra vigilant with those suspected of illegal dumping as they are placing a massive burden on our staff to keep our communities clean when it is private businesses who are making this mess.”

He said the City has 26 drop-off sites for garden refuse, builders’ materials and any other items that do not fit into household wheelie bins.

“These are more than sufficient to ensure the legal and safe disposal of waste,” he said.

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.

Between July and December 2018, 21 vehicles were impounded by the City and were issued fines totalling nearly R95 000 in terms of the Integrated Waste Management By-Law.

“I am calling on the community to report illegal dumping. We urge residents to help us catch these criminals who are polluting our communities and effectively forcing the City to spend millions of rands each year to clean up their dirty deeds – money that can be spent more effectively on service delivery,” said Mr Plato.

Sub-council chairperson Shannen Rossouw said the sub-council is intent on stopping illegal dumping but need residents’ input.

“We have a vision to minimise or assist the City departments who cannot maintain public open spaces to sell of those pieces of land. This will also influence what is to be developed in our ward areas. We as the sub-council will also soon be embarking on an exercise to determine the uses of our public open spaces and together with the planning and property management departments, determine how best to utilise land which City’s departments are unable to maintain or have no alternate use for in order that we could curtail the amount of dumping on a particular location or set the tone of development at these sites,” said Ms Rossouw.

To report illegal dumping, call 021 480 7700 from a cellphone
or 107 from a landline or 0860 10 3089.

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