The faith-based organization and Ward 44 committee have made progress with the plan to clean up illegal dumps and raise awareness of the issue in the township.
This follows the groups’ launch of a clean-up campaign to tackle the illegal dumping, which began in a public park near the NUWE Apostolic Church on August 8.
According to FBO chief Mandla Maseko, after cleaning up near the church, they were able to clean up two other illegal dumps at Bethel Church, located at the corner of Gama and Mabanga streets, as well as at the church evangelical, located in Khari. and Moagi Streets.
He said that at the moment the challenge they face is that people keep dumping even after the area has been cleared.
“It is mostly the people who live near these landfills who continue to dump. They say why they can’t have legal dumps because they complain that the dumps are far from where they live. As a result, when they get the chance to get rid of it, they use it, even though it’s illegal,” Maseko said.
He said they often raise these issues at public meetings in the neighborhood to spread the message of eliminating illegal dumps.
“In public meetings people say they’re going to watch themselves to make sure these challenges don’t persist, but when we go back to these areas we find that they’ve started throwing things away,” Maseko said. .
“They don’t do it during the day. It starts at night and then other people join in as well. Before you know it, it’s back to being an illegal dump.
He said the first site they cleaned is showing positive results thanks to community support.
Kathorus MAIL spoke with MMC of Environmental Resources and Waste Management, Andre du Plessis, during his visit to Mogobeng Primary School for Arbor Day on September 23rd.
KM asked du Plessis what his office is doing to address the problem of illegal dumping in the township, as the local newspaper has received complaints about illegal dumping and the lack of resources to address it.
Du Plessis said they are working on a program they are rolling out with advisers to address the issue. However, he stressed that they needed to address the cause, not the symptoms.
“We are asking councilors to identify illegal dumping hotspots in their neighborhoods. As a ministry, we will go out to clean up these trouble spots. But then we want buy-in from councilors and their ward committee to embrace this area and keep it clean for us,” du Plessis said.
He said another program they will be rolling out is to provide residents with wheelie bins.
“We need to provide more wheelie bins to residents. Some residents don’t have enough wheelie bins and we need to address the cause, not the symptoms; we can’t always clean. People are generating more waste and they don’t have containers to put it in,” he continued.
“Also, other than that, there are no recycling programs, which is why we would like schools to have recycling programs so people can bring the recyclables to school. This reduces the amount of waste generated that needs to be sent to landfills.
He said that after cleaning, they should put in place a maintenance program.
“We are already starting in Thembisa as we speak. We need to budget for this, so we’re asking councilors to do their due diligence on where the areas and residents are.
“We are also doing a point of service audit, which means if there is a house with four huts in the yard, maybe we should give them two wheelie bins. But we have to identify them and the best people to do that are the councilors and the neighborhood committee. Once they identify them, we can bring the wheelie bins to people. »
Du Plessis explained that the important thing about receiving a wheelie bin is that it must be on the billing system because there is a tariff attached to it.
“If you want two wheelie bins you can have them but you will be charged for two. We distribute them for free, but you are billed monthly,” he concluded.
Maseko said they welcomed the idea and saw it as a solution, as he explained that if they could get the bins, it would help the community get rid of their trash easily.
He said the community must work together to keep their area clean despite the difficulties.
“Another thing is that the refuse collection vehicle only comes once a week and you will find that some people are at work and have not taken out their bins in time. They end up dumping their waste on these illegal dumps.
Councilor Nkosinathi Shongwe said they were still pursuing the cleanup campaign with the FBO. They were also joined by a nonprofit called Hand in Hand, which is a national youth service agency that runs environmentally focused leadership programs.