Ethekwini mulls litter traps on CBD’s stormwater drains
The municipality previously installed metal grids throughout the city to stop litter from getting into drains. The audit also allowed the city to look at alternative materials to act as litter traps.
The city said it has 3600km of stormwater pipes, 171388 stormwater manholes and 620km of culverts and canals in the eThekwini municipal area.
Mandla Nsele, eThekwini municipality spokesperson, said litter traps were installed in areas where there were sufficient sweeping cycles that minimised the risk of clogging at the entrance of the stormwater inlets. Nsele said there were also issues around the theft of these grids in certain areas.
“It has been established that in some areas where there is a huge litter problem, these traps actually increase the flooding risks,” Nsele said.
Environmental groups and volunteer clean-up teams have repeatedly complained that, after heavy rains, the beach shores are strewn with litter.
Dale Johnson, the co-ordinator of #CleanBlueLagoon, said he has plans for three more clean-ups before year-end.
Johnson and another volunteer group, Durbanites Against Plastic Pollution, vented their anger when litter piled up at the Beachwood Mangroves and beaches between Suncoast and Blue Lagoon.
“There was a disgusting mess at the Beachwood Mangroves. Heartsore stuff. I have been doing these #CBL events for close to three years. All the trash flows down the uMngeni River and tributaries after heavy rains. The river spews the plastic and polystyrene out over this mangrove swamp area and adjacent beach,” Johnson said.
Nsele said the installation of the grids had resulted in a reduction of litter entering the stormwater system. He said high-frequency flooding areas in the CBD are inspected eight times a year.
Johnson felt there would be no end to the waste until there was political will and strong leadership from the custodians of eThekwini.