MUST READ: Illegal dumping – Newcastle’s backyard shame

The Link Road extension is littered with all manner of trash.

What environment are we leaving for the next generation?

This is the critical question asked by senior members of the Waste Management Department, in response to continued reports of illegal dumping.

Affected areas include the Link Road extension and Pioneer Park.

Two specific instances of illegal dumping were reported to the municipality over the past two weeks, and an official response was received on Tuesday afternoon.

In this response, Waste Management called for a change in mentality.

According to officials from the department, while the dumping was not reported, it was aware of areas which became depositing grounds for builders’ rubble.

“Developers, contractors and businesses need to be more responsible.”

The department explained it cleaned up these areas on a weekly basis, with areas such as Fernwood serviced daily.

Prevalence of dumping has prompted action from the municipality.

“Developers and contractors now have to inform the Department of Planning (Building) and Waste Management of their intention to commence any such development.”

They will also be required to rent a skip or crane truck for building rubble.

Officials added a Safe Disposal Certificate would be included in relevant documentation, and a building certificate of completion would not be issued until Waste had signed this.

This will be enforced by two specialised units.

Representing Town Planning and Waste Management, the teams may issue fines to contractors and developers who fail to inform the municipality of intention to start development, and for discarding waste in an unpermitted area.

“The Enforcement Unit will also be examining areas that are prone to foreigners, where it was reported there is absolute neglect to the environment. This behaviour will not be tolerated.”

In an interview earlier this year, Superintendent of Waste, Dr Thava Kelly spoke about a ‘not-in-my-backyard’ syndrome, which compelled residents to dump in any open space away from their own home.

She called for this mentality to be changed.

“This is our Newcastle and we need to start acting more responsibly. What are we teaching our children?”

Waste Management has requested residents to call, SMS or WhatsApp the Enforcement Unit on 060 811 6528, in relation to illegal dumping, littering or setting a skip alight.

Alternative contact numbers are 034 328 4700 or 086 014 4144.

For the hiring of skips or the crane service, contact the department on 034 328 7747/ 26/ 24.

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  AUTHOR
Bruce Douglas
Journalist

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