Illegally dumped refuse adjacent to the Marie Louise Landfill Site on Dobsonville Road, Soweto. Independent operators claim that the cost of dumping refuse legiitimately at the landfill site causes much of the illegal dumping. 190716. Picture: Chris Collingridge 484

Johannesburg - The amount of illegal dumping in Joburg has increased by 21 percent from the 2013/14 financial year to 2014/15 due to "irresponsible disposal of waste by residents".

Pikitup spokesman Jacky Mashapu said this in reaction to The Star's report in which where rubble removers claimed that if they could dump free at the sites, there would be no illegal dumping.

In the 2014/15 audited integrated annual report, Pikitup, through a contracted service, cleared over 276 000 tons of illegally dumped waste in open spaces across the city.

"This tonnage is as a result of illegal and irresponsible disposal of waste by some residents, business owners and contractors in and around Joburg. The concomitant direct costs were in the order of over R50 million to clear illegal dumping across the city.

"In the same period, the entity, as part of its separation-at-source programme, diverted a total of over 81 000 tons of dry, green waste and builder's rubble compared with over 31 000 tons diverted in the prior period," he said.

In terms of the city's by-laws, any entity or company person is required to pay a disposal fee at landfill sites. Disposal of clean or non-contaminated builders rubble was accepted free, he said.

"In addition to the enforcement of the by-law, Pikitup will continue and endeavour to promote education and awareness in ensuring that Joburg is a litter-free city. We wish to re-emphasise the message that achieving a clean city requires a collective effort and therefore call upon all concerned to work with us in partnership to maintain Joburg as a world-class African city.

"We appeal to residents and small business operators to utilise the strategically located 42 garden sites in disposing of small quantities of any form of waste free of charge instead of disposing it in open spaces," he said.

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The Star