It starts with something small and seemingly insignificant like a candy wrapper or empty chips-packet that gets thrown away obliviously, without thinking about the impact it will have on the environment and the community. But it`s those small things that escalates into to bigger challenges, such as illegal dumping, health risks and clogged drains, flooding our streets and neighbourhoods when it rains. Ward 29 Councillor Allister Lightburn agrees that illegal dumping is a major challenge in Ward 29. The biggest problem is that residents know who these culprits are, but don’t report it.
The City`s officials is consistent in cleaning the areas but it is just for a day or two then it is back to square one. If we can enforce and report these culprits and also have regular clean-up operations, where everyone can take pride in our community, then we can win the battle against illegal dumping,” he said. Ward 32 Councillor Moosa Raise had similar views. “Some parts of this ward are not showing any improvement and remain filled with rubble. Dahlia and Disa streets in Protea Park, the area on Curlew Street, the area between Duraand Heathfield flats shows a lack of commitment by residents to maintain a clean area after the City clears it.
The spaces between the Old Mamre Road near Beaver lane and Kanonkop; and also Clearwater road between Concordia and Allegheny streets are also a cause of major concern. The other area of illegal dumping is along Deer lodge road. Some pockets of land along Charles Dreyer and the R304 in Wits and are just as concerning,” he explained. Resident’s opinions are divided, if online comments are anything to go by. Some feel strongly that it is the responsibility of the City of Cape Town (CoCT) that has to see that the streets are kept clean. On the other hand many residents agree that those who are guilty of illegal dumping and littering should be held responsible and be fined. Some parents blamed educators for not teaching learners that they should not litter.
According to Raise, the City’s waste collection service to communities in both formal and informal area needs to be commended. “Refuse trucks collect household waste in City-provided 200 liter wheel bins religiously every week from every household. Damaged and lost bins are replaced at speed. Open spaces here also provide opportunities for dumping. In fact, we should appreciate such spaces and not dump there.”
Deborah Petersen, a City official from the Solid Waste Department confirmed that clean-ups have started all around Atlantis already in areas and roads such as Charl Uys-, Grosvenor-,Athens-, Bonaventura- and others. Petersen says some residents are rude and often harass them while cleaning. Residents would often continue dumping right next to them, while they busy cleaning, making comments like ‘I am creating work for you, because if I don’t dump then you don’t have work’. “Can residents do more? Yes indeed! I am engaging residents and challenge them to come up with a different attitude towards managing waste.
This conversation needs to be accelerated across the ward. I therefore plead to residents to forward me suggestions on how to better manage household waste,” urged Raise. ***To report littering and illegal dumping, contact 0860 103 089.