Mayco Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg said the City does not provide lockable bins. File picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Mayco Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg said the City does not provide lockable bins. File picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Durbanville residents now want locks to protect their wheelie bins

By Mthuthuzeli Ntseku Time of article published Jul 21, 2021

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Cape Town - Following criticism of the criminalisation of the installation of locking devices on wheelie bins, Durbanville residents have started a petition to the City to allow bin guards (bin locks) to be used in the metro.

In a memorandum sent out to sub-councils last week, the City said the installation of locking devices on wheelie bins was illegal. This was after it was notified of offers by private companies and neighbourhood watches to fit the City’s 240 litre wheelie bins with gravity locks to help prevent litter picking and the associated mess.

It said any customer found to have illegally altered their bin will be liable for the cost of a replacement bin.

Crest Goedemoed, Wellway Park East and Klein Nederburg neighbourhood watch chairperson Theo Bruwer said locks had been installed, over many years, to thousands of bins across the city, and the feedback had been overwhelmingly positive, because it reduced litter picking and the associated mess dramatically.

“The main reason why it has been installed was to counter the lack of safety and security provided by the authorities. It is also not clear who and why this decision has been made since, there are councillors and other members of the City Council who disagrees with the memo.

“We therefore insist that the ratepayers are allowed to keep on installing these locks, or alternatively the City install it themselves and bill the ratepayers via their monthly rates and taxes,” said Bruwer.

Bruwer said the City should endorse bin locks so that they were rolled out as a compulsory measure to reduce bin diggers and make neighbourhoods safer for residents.

Friends of Durbanville and Racecourse chairperson Louie Storm said they have requested Sub-Council 7 to provide residents with the by-law references that prohibited locks.

“One ratepayer said that they had discussions with the City to establish which by-law the City is using to back up their decision, but that information was never forthcoming,” he said.

Mayco Member for Water and Waste Xanthea Limberg said the City does not provide lockable bins to prevent access by people, not only because people could operate the double-lock system, but also because the national government had tasked municipalities with formally integrating waste pickers into the recycling value chain.

She said waste management in the City was governed by the National Environmental Management: Waste Act, as set by the Department of Environmental Affairs, Forestry and Fisheries, which published its National Waste Management Strategy that placed a strong focus on informal collectors of recyclable waste, officially known as “waste pickers”.

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