Illegal dumping on a field in Bridgetown is attracting vermin and is a growing health risk, say residents.
According to resident Brenda Maneveld, 66, the dumping on the Tarentaal Road field has been going on for several years, with everything from old furniture and rubble to household left there.
Residents had complained to ward councillor Anthony Moses, but the problem had only worsened during lockdown, Ms Maneveld said. Residents had to shut doors and windows to keep rats out of their homes and feared falling ill, she added.
“Residents are so fed up about this already. Late at night, people sit and do drugs on the field, burn things and make fires and scratch in the bins. Why don’t they do something with the field so that this dumping can stop?
“Trucks come to all other dumping spots, but not here. Why? Before residents would call the council to come and clean up, but now they don’t anymore because they are fed up.”
Another resident, Henry Adriaanse, said people sorted through rubbish on the field for scrap they could sell at a nearby scrapyard, and he could see rats when he stood in the road.
The City usually cleaned the field regularly but had not done so during lockdown, he said.
“The worst thing is that it is Bridgetown’s own residents who are doing this. They use the small road next to the sub-station which the council made for the trucks to break up the stuff before taking it to the scrapyard.”
Those who had confronted the culprits had been met with threats, he said.
“They have threatened to hurt us or burn down our houses. Why can’t the City place a skip here on the field?”
Mr Moses said staff shortages caused by Covid-19 had delayed the clearing of dumping hot spots, the Tarentaal Road field being just one of several such sites in the ward.
The sites were no sooner cleaned then they were dumped on again, costing the City, and ratepayers a great deal of money, he said.
“There are so many landfill sites that residents can use instead of dumping in open spaces like these. This is a city-wide problem which has worsened during the lockdown period.”
He urged residents to record the number plates of vehicles linked to the illegal dumping and take pictures of the cars so the City could fine the culprits.
“Our community also need to play their part and stop allowing people to come and take their junk and scrap away in trolleys as this is being dumped in open spaces.
“So much household waste is dumped, including old appliances such as washing machines,” he said.