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City of uMhlathuze unpacks plan to deal with refuse collection problems

A man dumps a blue plastic refuse bag next to other bags.

The City of uMhlathuze in Richards Bay says it is tackling refuse removal problems. File Picture: Leon Lestrade African News Agency (ANA).

Published Jul 30, 2023


Durban - The City of Umhlathuze in Richards Bay says it has been faced with a challenge regarding refuse collection in some areas and has unveiled a plan to address the problem.

In a notice to residents, the municipality said the challenges faced by the refuse removal service had led to a backlog in waste removal in certain residential and business areas.

The City did not specify what the challenges were, but said that the management team was working to address technical and logistical issues.

It said to deal with the backlogs, it had implemented a refuse removal schedule, which would be communicated to affected areas via SMS, and ward councillors would share the schedule within their respective groups on a daily basis.

The municipality added that some collections would take place on weekends, and details would be communicated accordingly.

“Our aim is to eliminate the backlog within the next seven days from the date of this notice.”

The City said it had taken the following measures to deal with the refuse removal challenges:

  • It has hired five compactor refuse trucks to alleviate the pressure on the existing fleet.
  • Urgent repairs and refurbishments have been initiated for the current fleet, despite some of the vehicles being older.
  • Three new trucks have been purchased and are expected to arrive by August 10.
  • An additional seven trucks are scheduled for purchase in the 2023/2024 financial year.

The municipality said it had allocated additional budget resources for the acquisition of more refuse removal trucks and yellow plant machinery in the current financial year.

“As part of our efforts to expedite the resolution, we also understand that some areas require night-time servicing to manage the backlog. However, we are aware that this has led to concerns from residents about potential theft or a lack of awareness. For such areas, we will implement special arrangements to ensure that residents are informed of their refuse removal schedules,” the municipality.