The eThekwini Municipality says that they were not aware of any illegal dumping under the Connaught Bridge on Roadhouse Crescent Durban North. This is despite it happening a stone’s throw away from the city’s dumping depot.

EThekwini spokesperson Tozi Mthethwa was responding to a query sent by Durban North News a few weeks ago ahead of publishing the article. Since then the area has deteriorated to a far worse condition.

It seems that a lot of the rubbish dumped there is being sifted through and separated for recycling companies to collect.

Shaun Ryley, Ward 36 Councillor, who recently visited the site confirmed that it was definitely getting worse. “Our request for fencing has been formally lodged with the relevant departments and we are awaiting feedback,” he said.

He said that in the meantime Durban Solid Waste (DSW) should attend to the mess that has been left by illegal dumpers and must put methods in place to prevent it from happening in the future.

“I am suggesting either a camera or just someone who can watch from the garden refuse deport,” he said. Mthethwa said that the matter will be investigated, and the transgressors will be served with contravention notices.

Mthethwa said: “Residents have no excuse for dumping illegally. The eThekwini Municipality has a number of landfill sites that can be used by residents for dumping. The city also has several illegal dumping prevention strategies that have been put in place. Police patrols are sensitised to take action when members of the public are found to be dumping. Fines of R5000 have been issued to offenders.”

She said the city provides a weekly refuse removal service to 945 000 households in formal and informal areas and there are numerous recycling centres throughout the metro as well, and at shopping centres. “There really is no reason for so much recyclable waste to end up on our streets,” she said.

Ryley has indicated that illegal dumping soured after cardboard collectors, who had initially set-up an informal base on Riverside Road were moved by Metro Police and pressure from uMgeni Park residents.

He said that the men are now set up below the Connaught Bridge where they collect stacks of cardboard boxes, soak them in municipal bins filled with water and then bundle them together to earn money.

The City last year implemented nine new by-laws that are aimed at dealing with various offences. Among these by-laws is the Nuisances and Behaviour in Public Places By-law under which littering is prohibited.

According to Mthethwa, enforcement is already underway and police have begun taking a tough stance against offenders. “Already in the past few months Metro Police have written summonses and issued fines to those who contravene the by-laws. We believe in having thriving communities, and a clean environment is so important in ensuring that we have healthy communities,” she added.

List of landfill sites where residents can use:

• Bisasar Road Landfill, Dhulam Rd, off Electron Rd, Springfield.
• Mariannhill Landfill, Landfill Rd which can be accessed from Rudloff/Abbot Francis Rd off Richmond Rd, Pinetown.
• Buffelsdraai Landfill, on Buffelsdraai Lane accessed from Oakford Rd/Todd Street, outside Verulam.
• Shallcross Garden Landfill, on Rash Dashan St, Shallcross.
• Wyebank Garden Site

“In our efforts to maintain a clean and sustainable city, we urge residents to continue reporting illegal dumping to 031 311 8804 and be responsible by ensuring that their neighbourhoods are kept clean by taking care of the environment and not litter. We also call on all residents to be champions of change and stop littering,” added Mthetwa.