‘Plain needs new dirt trucks

Mitchell’s Plain community ambassador (dressed in safety gear) representatives Deidre Petersen and Collin de Hart received an “honorary certificate of good deed” from Wolfgat subcouncil members, in thanks from the City of Cape Town’s Urban Regeneration Department for their dedication and bravery after the AZ Berman accident on Tuesday May 30 (“Five pupils killed in crash”, Plainsman May 30).

Mitchell’s Plain needs a new fleet of council dirt trucks to deliver on time and have scheduled collections.

City of Cape Town’s solid waste management superintendent Allen Hendricks speaking at the monthly Wolfgat sub-council on Thursday June 22, said they were working with a load of old trucks breaking down.

“There have been lots of backlogs and the weather has also been bad, where the landfills are very wet and muddy; and the trucks don’t get out easily.

“Then we need technical services to chain them out.

“But we do need a new fleet of trucks for Mitchell’s Plain so we can deliver on time and have scheduled collections,” he said.

Mr Hendricks also said that bins were being stolen because they were left outside late at night for collection and that thieves were using the bins to store stolen goods.

He was responding to questions by DA proportional representation (PR) Dr Arlene Adams, who said there were lots of complaints from residents that dirt trucks were not collecting domestic waste regularly.

“Trucks breaking down seems to be a rather frequent thing. Are there any new trucks on the cards for Mitchell’s Plain?” she asked.

Duwayne Jacobs, Cape Coloured Congress (CCC) PR councillor, also a member of the Urban Waste Management Portfolio Committee, thanked Mr Hendricks for the request for new dirt trucks.

He said in portfolio committee meetings the mechanical officials said they were on track with trucks.

“We have asked them to give us a report on how many trucks do we have? How many trucks are operating? And how many are messed up?

“We cannot be buying cheap trucks when they break down then we have to wait for parts to be imported,” he said.

Mr Jacobs said it was not just about the need for new dirt trucks but also how the backlog affected staff working longer hours and were unsafe at the landfill sites late at night.

“It is not just about the trucks but also our human capital and whether the workers are safe,” he said.

Dr Adams also said that nappies were dumped all over Mitchell’s Plain and asked what could be done to address this.

“Is that not wet waste? Isn’t there a solution for that problem? It is quite a huge problem in Mitchell’s Plain,” she asked.

Mr Hendricks said that residents did not know that their dirt collection was only meant for domestic waste and that they needed to dispose of it differently.

“People would just throw it in the bin to get rid of it. We need to explain it to residents,” he said.

He said if dirt was not separated and disposed of properly it could negatively affect the staff.

“They may be poked by a medical injection needle, which protruded through a dirt bag.

“The education of the community in terms of green waste and that bins are used for their specific use,” he said.

Mr Hendricks said that the nappies just get dumped at the landfills.

Mr Jacobs said that each area had different services and that in the southern suburbs nappies were collected by a company separately and that the gel inside could be reused.

“We need to put certain mechanisms in place if we want people to keep up with that,” he said.

He said there is also a company collecting dog poo. There are different service providers in different areas and once the system is in place the residents can separate and dispose of their waste differently.

Mr Jacobs also said that in other areas there were curb-side pick ups but they were not available in Mitchell’s Plain.