War on waste escalates

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TALKING WASTE: Integrated Waste and Recycling Services project manager Mark Price, left, chats with Kenton resident Chester Wilmot after a meeting on the dump and refuse collection in the Kenton town hall last Wednesday Picture: LOUISE KNOWLES

KENTON’S waste disposal woes are not over yet, despite a public meeting convened by Ndlambe Municipality to address residents’ needs last Wednesday.

The meeting was attended by members of the Kenton-on-Sea Ratepayers Association (Kosra), other residents and stakeholders, and members of the media.

Ndlambe director of community protection services, Nombulelo Booysen, introduced retired engineer Johan de Wet to explain developments since Kosra took the municipality to court over mismanagement of the unlicensed Marselle/Bushman’s River landfill site.

Kosra won a high court judgment against the municipality in June, compelling it to take all reasonable steps to prevent the burning of rubbish and extinguish such at the dumpsite, to ensure waste was confined within the dump and collect windblown refuse in a 1.5km radius.  It had to report to the court on progress every 90 days.

The court also urged the municipality to find an alternative site, with a view to closing the Marselle site. A decommissioning license for the dumpsite was already granted to the municipality in March last year.

Ndlambe decided to stop using the dump immediately.

De Wet said the municipality had obtained a license of closure, in terms of which it must formally close the dump by March 2018.  Complying with legalities will take 18 months and will cost R6- to R8-million.

Meanwhile, the municipality is looking for a new landfill site which will cost between R10- and R12-million, depending on the size of the property.

This caused the question to be raised whether it would not be more economically viable to continue to take Kenton’s household refuse to Port Alfred rather than buy new land.

But Booysen’s deputy, Fanie Fouche, said the Port Alfred dumpsite also has a limited lifespan. The Marselle/Bushmans’ municipal dump had already reached its capacity.

The cost of transporting household rubbish from Kenton to Port Alfred will be borne partly from  a municipal infrastructure grant (MIG), partly from rates and taxes, and partly from a business plan which the municipality has drawn up to obtain funding, said Booysen.

A resident asked whether the municipality had the funding.  Booysen replied that central funding for large projects, like the RO plant and Amatola Water project, would be used.

Roads, water, sanitation and waste management are all part of the MIG, of which 5% is for waste management, she said.

Another issue raised was the absence of the glass skip from the Kenton CBD parking lot, which was removed after residents complained that it was a nuisance because people were putting everything, including dead dogs, into the skip.

Integrated Waste and Recycling Services (IWARS) project manager Mark Price said it was possible to separate the glass from other recyclables, as long as it was not broken glass, and IWARS was designing a new skip with a special glass chute.

Booysen said refuse dumps should not be located within the CBD, although the skips are only a transit area for recyclables.

Neither IWARS nor the municipality could decide where to put the skips and referred the decision to ratepayers to decide at an open meeting, which Price said IWARS would attend. He said residents could submit proposals to info@iwars.co.za.

Last year, before the dump was closed, IWARS received 24.8 tons of glass, five tons of cardboard paper, 2.6 tons of PET plastic and other plastics, and 888kg of cans per month.  Waste pickers brought in R8 443.

Last December, IWARS received 70 tons of waste, but the tonnage has now gone down to zero and IWARS is in danger of closing down unless households increase their production of recyclables, Price said.

“If Kenton residents put out their recyclables, we will send out the truck,” said Price. “We need full trucks otherwise it is not viable.”

Booysen said Kenton residents should put out their rubbish and recyclables on the same day (Tuesdays) and the bags will be collected in the same way as they are in Bushman’s. The IWARS truck will follow the municipal refuse truck.

A trailer is in the pipeline, which will make the two-bag system more sustainable, she said.

The two-bag system is working in Boknes and Bushman’s, and Kenton resident Justin Wilmot called on all Kenton residents to prioritise recycling.

A resident from Ekuphumleni commented that township residents cannot afford to buy black bags let alone expensive see-through bags. Booysen said the municipality will issue see-through bags to test the viability.

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