A joint operation clean-up and awareness campaign was conducted in Ward 51 on Saturday, 13 November following a meeting between the Ward Councillor and eThekwini Municipality officials to address the ongoing issue of illegal dumping in various communities of Phoenix.

The clean-up was done in conjunction with the Roads and Stormwater Department, Parks Department, Environmental Health, DSW, and Community Participation and the education wing of Durban Solid Waste (DSW). The various departments distributed leaflets to raise awareness as well as engaged with members of the community.

Councillor Johnson of Ward 51 said dumping was becoming a pandemic in Phoenix. “Dumping of trash by uncivic-minded residents in unauthorized locations such as council open spaces, recreational facilities, along streams and roadsides has become the norm. The apathy and indifference of residents to the environment is really sad. The most problematic dump hot spot areas in Ward 51 were identified in Brookdale, where the clean-up was executed. Despite regular clean ups, dumping has not abated,” said Cllr Johnson.

She said that the community has a tendency to dump bin bags and other household refuse and grass behind the many mini substations erected at street corners. “The same was happening at the corner of Cardham Drive and Wattlebrook Crescent. Perpetrators must desist from this act as these can go up in flames when a resident burns the bin bags or accidentally throws a cigarette or a fire cracker. When this happens, the entire area can be without light for days.

“Another area of concern is the open space between 181 and 185 Cardham Drive where piles of construction rubble and rubbish is being dumped here as well as over the fence, into the stream. As a result, this has become a fertile breeding place for mosquitoes and rodents. The pathways and the vicinity of the market are the other areas that are consistently trashed,” added Johnson.

She further thanked the various departments that participated in the awareness and clean-up programme as well as her activists who assisted in the clean-up.