Losing the war on waste in filthy Port Elizabeth suburb

Councillor says awareness campaign not happening in his ward where the place is strewn with rubbish

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Photo of two men in a littered field
Damion Daniels (left) and Andrew Muller show the extent of illegal dumping in Jacksonville. Photo: Joseph Chirume

Residents in Jacksonville, Port Elizabeth, say people are illegally dumping rubbish and even dead animals on their streets. The drains are becoming blocked. They want the municipality to find a solution and conduct litter awareness campaigns.

Chairman of the Jacksonville Area Committee, Damion Daniels, said, “What irritates us is that most suburbs in Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality have official dumping sites where excess litter is emptied. We don’t have even one here. Community members can’t live with piles of rubbish in their homes.”

Refuse is collected on Fridays, but Daniels said when people’s municipal wheelie bins filled up before collection day, they dumped the rubbish on any open site. He said there was no suitable arrangement for disposing of larger objects, such as used mattresses and construction materials.

Damion said that on 16 June 2017 as part of a public campaign, youths in the area picked up rubbish, which was then collected by municipal trucks.

“We have been moving around educating people, especially the youth, not to dump everywhere. It seems we are losing the battle given the quantity of rubbish,” said Damion. “The municipality should have a workable solution to this issue.”

He suggested two not-for-profit recycling organisations be given designated areas for collecting and processing waste.

Municipal spokesperson Mthubanzi Mniki said the municipality had previously provided two skip bins on Sterera Street, but these were removed. “A request to remove the skip bins was received from the community … due to offensive smells, flies and nuisance that was created by the fact that the people were not using the skips efficiently, but rather dumping around the skips.”

Ward 38 councillor Edward Harker said, “Sterera Street is around KwaNoxolo, not in Jacksonville. At present I will not allow the municipality to bring skip bins in my ward. They have to bring litter pickers first and clean the area of all the rubbish. Why is my ward not benefiting from litter cleaners while we see them cleaning other wards?”

He said there should first be an awareness campaign before skips were brought.

“I have been sitting with ten anti-litter sign posts dumped in my office by some municipality officials. They should come and take the sign posts and erect them in the community to educate residents about illegal dumping. The Waste Management department has a program called ‘War on waste’, whose mandate is to conduct community awareness campaigns. Its not happening in my ward,” said Harker.

TOPICS:  Sanitation

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