Stiff fines await those who take illegal short cuts disposing of their garbage.
Jonty de la Porte, chairman of the Montague Gardens-Marconi Beam Improvement District (MMID), says the common practice of leaving waste out for bin-pickers is a thing of the past, and the improvement district has assigned a law enforcement officer to identify and fine those who break the law.
“Local businesses are also part of the waste and litter problem,” said Mr De la Porte.
“They make use of bin pickers to get rid of rubbish for them. It saves them the inconvenience and money it would take to get rid of the waste in the correct manner. Unfortunately, the bin pickers then go and sort through the rubbish to look for items that they can sell to local recycling centres.
The result is a big mess, which the MMID has to clean up and at a big cost.”
Outsiders were also coming into the area to dump building rubble and garden waste, among other things, he said.
“In the past six months, successful action against four dumpers has seen them have their vehicles impounded, together with a R5 000 fine. Return of the vehicle costs them up to R9 000.”
City law enforcement spokesman, Wayne Dyason, said fines for illegal dumping ranged from R500 to R10 000.
“If a vehicle is used in the commission of the offence then it can be impounded. Repeat offenders could get a prison sentence of six months to two years,” he said.
The City spends about R120 million a year clearing illegal dumping hot spots but still battles to keep pace with the problem, says Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg.
“The City has 26 drop-off sites across the metro that accept garden refuse, builder’s rubble and recycling materials, and a variety of other items that do not fit into household wheelie bins,” she said.
“We encourage residents to make use of these facilities for the legal and safe disposal of waste.
The Killarney drop-off site is 5km from Montague Gardens, but residents are free to make use of any of the drop-off sites across the city depending on what is most convenient for them.”
The City offers rewards of up to R5 000 to anyone providing information leading to an impoundment of a vehicle or the conviction or arrest of culprits.
People can report illegal dumping to 021 480 7700 or 107 from a landline.
The MMID is working with Joe Slovo residents to improve waste handling and disposal.
Mr De la Porte said a recycling project was in the pipeline for the MMID along with a competition to promote well-kept verges.