Public input ignored

Aubrey Robinson, community leader, Retreat

Regarding the Retreat drop-off site, the public participation was poorly attended as the community around the drop-off site is fed-up with the City who has been ignoring their vote against this site since 2013 and are also now against the extension of the site.

Why don’t they use the big open spaces in Constantia, Bergvliet, Tokai and at Princess Vlei instead of extending this site which is in a residential area?

Residents with asthma and other illnesses, senior citizens, school pupils and residents who most of the time can’t even open their windows because of the stinking smells will suffer. Then we have youths in the area studying who must endure the loud noises from early in the morning until whatever time.

The City put together a Final Basic Assessment Report instead of first consulting the community while they are wasting all the money on consulting companies who’s charging lots of taxpayers’ money.

Who is the real applicants for this extension? Is it the City of Cape Town or Larry Elchstadt who has been identified in the report as the applicant?

They want to get the community to watch their presentation while the reports are missing all the different appendixes.

Do they think our people are stupid? The councillor who attended the public participation meeting is not even from the sub-council or the ward.

The whole process was given to a sub-council manager who came to talk nonsense and who only knows what he read in a report.

What’s disturbing is the fact that the sub-council manager said in the meeting and he made it known that the City will be building houses on the property at the back of the drop-off site.

Do they, the City, think our people are animals to live basically on a stinking smelling site?

So in short, the community still say no to the extension to the drop-off site and that the existing one be moved away out of our residential area.

* Xanthea Limberg, mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services; and energy, responds:

It was decided that a community meeting with the surrounding residents would be the most effective platform to address the concerns of the residents. This would allow the City of Cape Town to address questions that have already been raised and further queries that may arise from the presentations.

Unfortunately, the community did not allow the relevant presentations to be made.

Public participation was undertaken as part of the Waste Management Licence (WML) application process.

Further public participation was undertaken as part of the Land Use Management process. There are also additional public participation activities planned prior to construction commencing.

The City can confirm that a WML in terms of the National Environmental Management: Waste Act 2008 was granted on 8 July 2015. Building plans have been submitted for approval and the Land Use Management process relating to the subdivision/ rezoning/ consolidation of the property is under way. Should all the necessary approvals be granted, it is estimated that construction will commence in early 2018.

It should be noted that this is a free service to the community and the site is being increased in size to expand the activities on site. It will assist the community with waste minimisation as the site will be able to process higher volumes of different waste materials.

Residents who are spring cleaning or cleaning their garages can drop off non-hazardous items which they no longer require. Illegal dumping remains an enormous challenge across the city and this area is certainly no exception.

Drop-off facilities are crucial to the broader efforts to reduce incidence of illegal dumping, which has a negative effect on communities directly on a number of levels, not least of which is the cost of clearing it.

It would be worthwhile for the residents opposed to the expansion of the facility to engage with the many members of the community who do make use of it as an essential component of their daily trade, such as construction site rubble removal and garden clearing businesses.

Areas such as Constantia have not been excluded from the process. There was a very active site in Ladies Mile which formed part of a land claim award. If the site had not been awarded to the claimants, it would still have been operational.

In terms of noise: a Noise Impact Assessment was performed in respect of activities on site (more specifically the chipping of garden refuse). The remedial recommendations in order to mitigate the noise have been incorporated into the design of the drop-off facility.

In terms of traffic: access to the site has been moved off 10th Avenue. The City’s Transport and Urban Development Authority is also planning additional roads and the widening of 10th Avenue.

Contractors servicing the waste containers will not be permitted to drive their heavy vehicles through the adjacent residential area.

It should be noted that the current operational times of the Retreat site are as follows: During summer, Monday to Friday from 8am until 8pm; in winter, Monday to Friday from 8am until 5.45pm; Saturdays/pub-lic holidays from 8am until 5pm and Sundays from 9am until 1pm.