Metro answers wheelie bin questions at public meeting

Clr Kabelo Mahonko (Ward 24), Clr Jacques Meiring (Ward 27) and Clr Malanie Haggard (Ward 28) attended the meeting, as well as several representatives from the metro’s waste department.

Thulani Ngoepe, acting executive regional manager for the eastern region of Ekurhuleni’s waste department, and Sarah Seketle, from the city manager’s office, answered questions posed by members of the community.

 

The following questions were addressed during the meeting:

Why is there a problem with collecting non-council branded bins?

Ngoepe: Each resident can have as many bins as they need, but will be charged the monthly fee per bin. This does away with residents being charged based on stand size. The reason we don’t collect refuse from non-council branded bins, is that we won’t know whether or not you are paying for the collection of the additional bins, unless they are council-issued. (The metro was sent an enquiry on June 23, asking if one bin not issued by the metro would be allowed per property, since each property is automatically charged R140.39 as a basic fee.)

Filth is piling up in Chief Albert Luthuli Park, but nothing is being done. When will council address the illegal dumping there?

Seketle: We will go on a site visit to the area soon. When people dump illegally, the community and metro have a responsibility to put a stop to it.

People are scared to put their bins out for the entire day, as they might be stolen. Can a schedule be set up to inform residents during which times on which days the truck will collect from their particular street?

Ngoepe: We have a schedule to let people know which days the refuse will be collected in their area. Unfortunately, we can’t specify times per street.

It is not fair if a property has only one bag of rubbish per week, which doesn’t fill the wheelie bin, but pays the same as someone who fills the wheelie bin every week.

No answer received.

What will happen during public holidays?

Ngoepe: We will collect refuse on every holiday, except Christmas.

We are glad to have been informed of the wheelie bins, but we didn’t get a chance to respond to the proposal.

Ngoepe: We communicated the transition to wheelie bins through the ward councillors, local media and the municipal bills. We already extended the deadline after which no more black bags would be collected. This programme is part of the national resolution to reduce waste. It had to be implemented.

In Crystal Park, many people leave their bags on the pavements or dump illegally and none of this is being removed by the waste department.

Seketle: We will look into this matter, and rely on the public to report it to us.

How will the billing work now?

Ngoepe: You will now only be charged R140.39 per month, per wheelie bin. It is your responsibility to go to the finance department if there is a discrepancy on your account. (According to the 2016/17 tariff schedule for the waste department, properties with a value of R300 000 or less, will be charged R 113.81 per bin per month).

If the bins were procured through the metro’s funds, which is our rates, why are we being charged monthly to have the bins?

Ngoepe: Yes, we effectively used your money to buy the wheelie bins, but the monthly fee is not for the bin itself, but for the collection service.

The roll-out of the wheelie bins was not communicated properly to schools. They pay large amounts for refuse collection, but the refuse is often not collected and during school holidays they pay for a service they don’t need.

Seketle: We will go out on site visits to the schools to assess the situation and come up with solutions.

Why are we being charged for the removal of bags filled with leaves when we clean the municipal pavements of those leaves?

Ngoepe: We will look into this matter.

What is the metro doing regarding recycling?

Ngoepe: We have a number of recycling projects in the pipeline. There are several recycling centres in the city. We’ll soon launch a project with Gauteng Province, where scooters will go around collecting recyclable material.

What is the process if your bin is stolen?

Ngoepe: You have to open a case at a police station, get an affidavit and then you will be given another bin, without being charged the additional R140.39 per month. We are looking into the problem of stolen wheelie bins to achieve a more permanent solution.

With the system to pick up wheelie bins being automated, less staff are needed on the trucks. Why has the metro kept the number of people driving with each truck the same, if less are needed?

Ngoepe: We will look into this matter.

With the tender for wheelie bins going to one company, isn’t the metro taking business away from other companies, since there is now a monopoly on which bins are being collected?

No answer received.

The ethics from the waste department’s staff members are not up to scratch, both at the mini dump sites and with the trucks.

Ngoepe: We will go on site visits to the miniature dump sites to investigate the staff’s attitude as well as the reports that the dump sites are overflowing with refuse.

If you collected several bins but later discover you only need one, can you return the redundant one?

Ngoepe: We will take back your extra bin if you bring it to the depot.

In some areas some bins are collected while others are not because they were made by different manufacturers, but all three types were issued by the metro.

Ngoepe: Only the bins on which the serial number, metro logo and town code are engraved, will be accepted.

 

What are your thoughts? Email letters to [email protected]

 

Also read:

Western Extension becomes a ‘dump’

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  AUTHOR
Erik van Dijk
Journalist

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