Despite the recent BCMM Waste Indaba, where the reuse and recycling of waste was discussed, and a recent tender advert issued by the municipality for street bins, there is still an overwhelming problem of illegal dumping.
The Daily Dispatch routinely receives e-mails and phone calls from East London residents complaining about new dumping sites forming.
From a quick drive through the city, the Dispatch found rampant dumping in the suburbs of Amalinda, Stoney Drift and Parkridge.
Collin Hendriks, secretary of the Parkridge United Residents Association, wrote in a letter addressed to BCM that his organisation was “informed about refuse and waste that has been dumped on the corner of Ranonkle and Parkridge streets”.
“The dump/rubbish is now piling up into the street and making it difficult for traffic to use that part of the road.
“Traffic/motorists have to yield when coming from Buffalo Flats up the hill in Parkridge due to this dump.
“The informal settlement that is near the dumping site called me to attend to this issue and that is why I am trying to get help for this issue.
“Last night, I went there and it is terrible and there is a terrible smell.”
An anonymous resident, speaking of Amalinda, said: “In Curtis Road, between Karl Hahn Road and Virginia Road there is a disgusting amount of all sorts being dumped there.
“[It’s] a real home for rodents and whatever else thrives in this environment.
“The open land on the corner of Curtis Road and Virginia Road is also used as a garden refuse dump.
“Can something be done about these places? I think the people who stay in the area need to be educated about dumping, then this would not happen.
“I have not reported any culprits as I am afraid of being victimised.”
Bathandwa Diamond, BCM spokeswoman, said the city had purchased “20 new compactor trucks, eight tipper trucks, water tankers and three TLB’s for the municipality to be able to deal with the issue of illegal dumping and also make sure refuse is collected on time across the metro”.
Diamond said that in addition to this, the municipality hoped to buy new litter bins and skips from July.
“The roll-out plan of the bins will, however, look at high-concentrated areas like the CBD and taxi ranks.
“The containers will cater for businesses and informal areas where the municipal refuse trucks cannot gain access to the area.
“Littering and illegal dumping of waste is a rising concern for the BCMM and we need the community to come to the party to help save our streets, parks and bushland, as this has the potential to cause health and safety risks for both people and the natural environment,” she said, adding that anyone spotted littering or illegally dumping could be reported to the solid waste department on (043)721-1969.
“We are also embarking on Waste Minimisation Initiatives, which we believe will be the answer to all our waste challenges as well as create entrepreneurs in waste management, and those include adopt-a-spot, door-to-door visits and a beachfront education programme.
“Residents interested in the adopt-a-spot initiative can contact Nomgcobo Ntsomi on (043)721-1969 for more information. Parks, however, are not part of this initiative,” she said.