Wyebank dumpsite closure cause havoc

WITH the recent closure of the Wyebank dumpsite, upper Highway residents have complained about the time wasted in using the Mariannhill landfill site.

In the story in the Highway Mail, Friday, 27 April, small business owners dealing with disposal of garden refuse stated that using the Mariannhill dump would be time-consuming and there would be additional petrol costs and wear and tear on their vehicles.

The DSW Wyebank landfill site was closed to contractors on Sunday, 1 May but it is still open to private individuals and residents.

The small businesses said the closing of this dump had had a lot of repercussions, as the queues at the Mariannhill site are unbearable.

The Highway Mail visited the Mariannhill landfill site and spoke to the landfill officer, Melvin Govender, about the challenges they are facing after the closure of the Wyebank site.

Govender said all the waste which is dumped at the Mariannhill landfill site is mainly general solid waste, no chemicals or hazardous waste is dumped at the site.

“Our other landfill site in Springfield was closed down in January so what is happening is that we are getting a bit of traffic at the site.

“Likewise at the end of last month, the Wyebank dump was also closed and we are getting that traffic here too, so now this is the busiest site.

“We are taking approximately 500 to 1 000 vehicles per day and in terms of the amount of waste that we get here, we were taking about 800 tons but now we are getting 1 500 tons, it is a lot of waste and we are expecting the lifespan of the site to be another year and a half or so, maximum,” explained Govender

He said people may be moved to another site which might be the Shongweni one.

“As the municipality we are trying to extend the lifespan of this place, which is the reason we encourage residents to recyle, reduce waste. We are encouraging people to reuse waste because if less waste is dumped at the site, it will extend the lifespan of the site.

“But with the queues, I will have to apologise, but it is something beyond my control but we are trying to resolve it, people need to bear with us.

“The queues are not there the whole day but there are peak periods and maybe people need to work around them.”

The Mariannhill landfill site has opened a new space which is separate from the site where the DSW trucks dump their waste for small businesses to dump and to avoid being stuck at the site for longer than anticipated.

Paolo Candotti, chairman of the Kloof Conservancy, said they are seriously concerned that many contractors (including gardening services and tree fellers) will not be willing to drive to the Marianhill landfill site and will start dumping in any open public space.

“If you do use a gardening service or a tree feller, please go out of your way to ensure that the contractor you use operates within the law – obviously this is not going to be easy but, by discussing this with your contractor, you do raise awareness and you do make your position clear that you do not expect them to dump other than at a legal dump-site (Mariannhill for our area).

  AUTHOR
Sanelisiwe Tsinde
Journalist/Photographer

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