Illegal dumping blights Kewtown, but one spot where this commonly happens could soon be turned into a recycling drop-off site.
Dumping remains a constant problem in the neighbourhood, no matter how many times municipal staff clean the area, says Athlone ward councillor Rashid Adams.
The moment staff turned their backs, peopled dumped again, he said.
Cleaning up illegal dumping across Cape Town costs the municipality about R500 million a year – it’s money it would rather be spending on more pressing problems.
“Residents themselves are to be blamed for dumping because they know what they are doing,” Mr Adams said. “Nevertheless, the City needs to provide assistance which we are doing. Dumping must be reported immediately if anyone sees anything.”
The ward committee hopes to start a dumping awareness programme at schools in the area, and in April committee members visited Bokmakierie Primary School to explore this possibility.
Mr Adams said the City was also considering posting river and canal wardens to prevent dumping.
Last week, Mr Adams and City officials visited a dumping hot spot on the corner of Eiland Street and Jan Smuts Drive and spoke about possibly turning it into a drop-off for recycling. Currently, household garbage, old furniture and rubble were discarded there daily, Mr Adams said.
Gatesville Neighbourhood Watch chairwoman, Fowzia Veerasamy, said dumping was a problem all over Athlone and residents were to blame. Fines for illegal dumping were to easy to pay, she said, adding that long-term solutions were needed.
“Perhaps they can come up with recycling projects and get the youth involved. Perhaps each sub-council can come up with recycling initiatives or dumping solutions.”
A recycling drop-off site risked drawing unsavoury characters who would scratch among the recyclables, she said.
“They should open this idea up to the public and let them decide what they want to do with that space,” she said. “We’ve definitely seen an increase in dumping in the area because we walk the streets every day.”
Kewtown resident Zainuniesa Waggie was also against a recycling drop-off site for the area. The spot should rather be a parking lot for students or something more recreational.
“The area always needs more parking spots so another parking lot will really help. That will alleviate the dumping problem. Residents themselves are dumping, but they are the ones complaining. A dumping spot near to Jan Smuts will not work, it is a main road coming into our area,” she said.