Millions wasted to clean up after illegal dumpers

Building rubble is dumped in Langverwacht, Kuils River.

Illegal dumping costs the City millions every year but it could also put money into your pocket.

“Any information given that results in a vehicle impoundment, arrest or fine will make the informant eligible for a R1 000 reward pay out,” said Executive Director for Safety and Security, Richard Bosman.

Langverwacht councillor Roelof Mare logs at least 15 to 20 illegal dumping complaints a week in his ward. People also email him about 10 to 15 complaints a week.

“That’s besides the SMSes,” he said. However, this is not unique to his ward because the problem is city-wide.

The City’s website says illegal dumping costs ratepayers R350 million a year and it reminds residents that dumping is “highly” illegal and those convicted can be fined up to R5 000.

“Furthermore,individuals found guilty of using their vehicle for illegal dumping, with that vehicle having been seized and impounded, will need to pay a tariff for its release – the value of which will increase for the first three offences. A guilty party will have to fork out R7 500 to have the vehicle released for the first offence, R10 000 for the second, and R15 000 for the third. Each subsequent impoundment fee will have a value of R15 000. This will be the case unless ordered otherwise by the court,” said Mayoral committee member for informal settlements, water and waste services, and energy, Xanthea Limberg.

And don’t assume that the dumping of organic material, such as garden waste is exempted – just because waste is biodegradable, doesn’t mean it can be dumped.

“Take it to the landfill. The City will make mulch with it. But if it is dumped, it dries out and becomes a fire hazard,” Mr Mare said.

Dumping of organic waste, he said, attracted more dumping, including non-biodegradable waste. Dumping on privately-owned vacant land caused further problems because the City had to issue the owner three compliance notices before it could clean the property itself at the owner’s cost.

To report illegal dumping, call 0860 103 089. Call 021 400 6157 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za if you have a licence number or can identify the culprit. The City advises those laying a complaint to submit photographic evidence.