PICS: 300 tons of dirt removed from harbour after #DurbanFloods

By THABISO GOBA Time of article published Apr 29, 2019

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Durban - MORE than 300 tons of dirt has been removed from the Durban Harbour after plastic waste and debris washed up on its shoreline after the torrential rains last week.

Yet, there is still more that needs to be done as large parts of the sea are still covered with flotsam and jetsam.

When The Daily News visited the site on Sunday, there were more than 36 industrial waste bins belonging to environmental waste management company Spill Tech, all filled to the brim.

A worker, who did not want to be named, said the bins carried about four tons of waste each.

“We have been here since Monday and I think our trucks have made about 36 loads.

“We have four trucks today who have been working around the clock removing the trash,” said the worker.

The collection of plastic bottles along the river mouth also saw vagrants being involved in the clean-up.

Sibongiseni Xaba, a vagrant, who was carrying five bags full of plastic bottles, said recycling companies offered R1/kg for plastic and 70 cents per kg for cardboard.

eThekwini municipality spokesperson Msawakhe Mayisela said the City was working around the clock to clear all the waste at the harbour.

“It is incumbent on the city to make sure we clean our harbour because this could impact negatively on marine life,” he said.

“We hope the dirt at the harbour is a clear indication for everyone to behave responsibly because all of the waste there is a result of human activity.”

Mayisela said the City was running a number of initiatives while also working with non-government organisations and volunteers to clean up Durban’s beaches.

One of the many NGOs that have been assisting in clearing up the beaches is Plastics SA.

During the weekend they visited five different areas, including Durban Harbour, where a group of 150 volunteers collected about 300 bags of waste from the sea.

“The volumes, in terms of the waste, has not been great - there is still a whole lot of plastic bottles left in the sea. Those bottles do not belong on the sea or anywhere in the environment,” said Douw Steyn, Plastic SA’s sustainability director.

Steyn said contaminated bottles were separated from the salvageable ones and the good ones would be recycled.

“The solution is proper waste management and improving recycling measures by making it more accessible to the public,” he said.

Daily News

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