Pollution caused by black bags taken out of bins, loaded into trolleys and ripped open elsewhere in the Durbanville area. Picture: Supplied
Pollution caused by black bags taken out of bins, loaded into trolleys and ripped open elsewhere in the Durbanville area. Picture: Supplied

Durbanville residents, City lock horns over locks for wheelie bins

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jul 15, 2021

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Cape Town - Durbanville residents have accused the City of blocking yet another initiative by the community to stop urban decay through the fitting of locking devices to wheelie bins.

In a recent memorandum sent out to sub councils, the City said the installation of locking devices on the wheelie bins or alterations of it was illegal. It said any customer found to have illegally altered their bin would be liable for the cost of a replacement that bin.

Friends of Durbanville and Racecourse chairperson Louie Storm said residents had reported that since the locks were installed, there was no refuse found scattered across their side walks on refuse collection days.

“The biggest irony in this whole sorry saga is that on the one hand the City is blaming the ratepayers of not ’giving responsibly’ which implies only to donating to registered NPO's.

“But then in this memorandum, they state that the ratepayers must put food and other valuable items separate from the other items in the rubbish bin, which goes directly against their so-called giving responsibly campaign.

“This is yet another example where ratepayers are forced to come up with a solution themselves, and then being opposed by the council. Previously it was the blanket refusal to allow any person to clean up City owned premises without permission and now this,” said Storm.

Stellenberg Neighbourhood Watch member, who asked not to be named, said they experienced more burglaries on refuse collection days as thieves pretended to be bin scratchers.

He said the bin locks had reduced the influx of unwanted vagrants and bin scratchers moving through the area.

“Most of this scattered refuse is dumped in the river, causing massive pollution – and the vagrants also manage to live off bins, meaning the residents are empowering them to squat in the area. The issue we have is the City's inability to see that the locks do not break the refuse trucks and has no effect on the functionality of the bin,” he said.

Crest Goedemoed Wellway Park East and Klein Nederburg Neighbourhood Watch chairperson, Theo Bruwer said the City should endorse the bin locks so that they are rolled-out as a compulsory measure to reduce bin diggers and make neighbourhoods safer for residents.

Mayco member for water and waste, Xanthea Limberg said lockable bins were issued to residents living in baboon-management areas, as determined by the baboon management committee.

“The City is in the process of constituting a multi-disciplinary task team, which is focused on integrating the waste pickers into a formal waste economy, in a participatory manner.

“However, this is a longer term process, requiring a wide range of stakeholders, both internally and externally to the City,” she said.

Limberg said the City was working to develop processes that are sustainable and beneficial to all stakeholders.

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