Down in the dumps after delays

Bins in Janssens Avenue, Table View, stood full with rubbish blowing in all directions after bins were not collected for a few days.

Milnerton and Table View have been hit by weeks-long garbage-collection delays, and residents are not impressed.

The City blamed the delays on a shortage of garbage trucks caused by a large part of the 211-vehicle fleet undergoing maintenance and repairs.

Some residents say they waited two weeks to have their garbage removed, and they complained about the mess in the neighbourhood and vagrants scratching in the bins.

Some were worried about criminals using the bin scratchers as cover, but Table View Community Police Forum chairman David Harris said the uncollected bins were more of an inconvenience than anything else.

“We have been monitoring the situation and there haven’t been any worrying factors in terms of security in the area because of this issue.”

According to Alex Lepnik, of Table View, bins went uncollected in Wood Drive for a week earlier this year and the same thing happened towards the end of last year. His bin day is Wednesday but the last collection was on February 19.

“They are telling us it’s technical issues with the trucks they use, but I don’t think it’s rocket science. We have to pay our rates and taxes on time and we expect to get the service on time.”

Mary Shultz, of Brooklyn, said: “Every single day, you will always find uncollected bins and refuse plastics along Koeberg Road. I think the City of Cape Town doesn’t care.”

Lynn Adams, of Wood Drive, said the City appeared to still be collecting rubbish on schedule in her old neighbourhood of Big Bay.

“Maybe this is because the rates in those kinds of areas are higher. Another problem is that each day, we have to clean the rubbish being blown away.

“The dirt is blowing into the stormwater drains and causing more problems. We have to deal with the fumes every day. This is not healthy.”

According to mayoral committee member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg, the City needs at least 129 garbage trucks daily to meet rubbish-removal schedules, and usually plans for 30% spare capacity, but currently 120, on average, are off the road for repairs so there is no spare capacity to allocate replacement vehicles.

Residents in affected areas should leave their bins out for collection until 8pm each evening until the backlog was cleared, she said. The City would work on weekends to clear any remaining backlog, and the problem should be resolved in the next week or two, she said.

Excess refuse that could not fit in the wheelie bins would also be collected until the problem was resolved, she said.

Ms Adams said her bin had been emptied on Friday February 6.

“There needs to be accountability for this. As soon as I don’t pay my rates, I get a soft kick in the butt. What happens to the person who is failing at his/her job at the City department in charge of the refuse removal?”