For the last few years Bloemfontein Courant has extensively reported on the continuous concerns residents and stakeholders in Bloemfontein have when it comes to the issues at both the Southern and Northern Landfill Site.
As the new season dawned over the last few weeks, developments at the sites have somewhat brought a sense of relief to the city.
Though some change is visible, residents are still affected by the constant fires that break out at these sites and the city is plagued by illegal dumping. According to Francois Nel, Acting HOD of Waste and Fleet Management, the lack of vehicles and constant fires caused by illegal activities pose major management challenges for the department.
“We instituted a new management structure with Acting GM Landfill Management and a permanent Landfill Manager has been appointed. A landfill management plan has also been developed to guide the operation. We have started with cell construction and the provision of covering material to combat fires but also to comply with the licence conditions that have been set. The availability of vehicles as well as constant illegal dumping outside the sites is creating additional challenges that we are managing daily,” said Nel.
Furthermore, he said additional funds have been secured for maintenance at both sites and R8 million has also been budgeted to ensure the development of a rehabilitation plan and identification of a new resource centre for the metro. David Mc Kay acknowledges the new developments at the site in the south.
However, the fires, smoke and illegal dumping that result due to the deterioration of the Southern Landfill site have led to property value plummeting in Uitsig, Fauna, Lourierpark, Bloemdal and Fereirra. “Illegal dumping has reached epidemic proportions and although the area is attended to on a regular basis, the illegal dumping by the public causes the diversion of resources that create operational problems and backlogs,” said Mc Kay.
He added that the public will unfortunately have to take hands with the department to resolve the situation.
“The first will be to stop the illegal dumping and to eradicate the illegal landfill site dwellers.”
Meanwhile in the north, Selmé Pretorius said that frequent fires and acts of sabotage at the Northern Landfill Site has been a continuous concern for residents in the surrounding area for the past 12 months.
“This has a serious impact on the health and quality of life of residents. It also poses a serious safety risk and has an adverse effect on property value in the area,” she said. In response to the growing concerns and issues, an online petition was launched for residents in the area for the closure of the Northern Landfill site. The petition was available since June and has received close to 700 signatures.
“A total of 38 000 loads are required for both the landfill sites. Private companies also donated soil and gravel. This will assist greatly in combating fires. The Metro is working on improving security. Re-claimers will be vetted and will wear identification bibs. Better lighting will be put up as well as security cameras,” she explained.
“Waste management is the responsibility of all residents and the municipality, and through collective efforts, we can make a definite difference in our environment. The department also wants to express its sincere gratitude to companies and private individuals that extended their support in the provision of assistance, and cover material to assist the metro with the maintenance on the landfill sites,” concluded Nel.
Gypseenia Lion & Justine Fortuin