Every corner you turn in Boipatong in the Vaal Triangle, there is a dump site which is illegal because dumping waste in the streets is against municipal by-laws. There are over 30 dump sites in the Boipatong area alone. These dump sites are situated near roads, sport facilities, schools, shops and behind people’s homes among other areas. Community members are the cause of this problem even though there are some who clean some of these areas and put up prohibitory signs which read “NO DUMPING” and “DO NOT DUMP”. Their actions are in vain as the perpetrators of this criminal activity use the cover of night’s darkness to dump waste unseen.
The municipality encourages this behaviors as they clean the areas with a TLB and a dumping truck without enforcing the by-laws and prosecuting the perpetrators of this crime.
Less than a decade ago rubbish bins were distributed in selected areas but a large percentage of those who received the bins use them for different household purposes except their true purpose.
Community members still use shopping plastic bags, black plastic bags, boxes and pales to dispose of waste.
The worst part of the problem is that people(and the August winds) throw the waste into the drainage system thus blocking water during rainy weather and whenever the problem of sewerage pipes bursting, clogged by the same waste which blocks drainage which in turn worsens the sewerage problem.
Littering and dumping affects every dynamic of the environment. This recyclable, reducible and reusable waste kills animals in their natural habitats, damages cars, broken glasses wound children, rotting waste causes a significant amount of air pollution and water pollution.
The municipality has put certain measures in place which play an important but insignificant role in the reduction of this problem. I believe that the municipality and environmental organisations can still do more to avert this issue. The municipality must first and foremost enforce its by-laws by monitor the streets and prosecuting those perpetrators. There should be more platforms for educating the public and more controlled measures must be put in place to ensure that people dispose of waste in a manner which will allow the waste picking department to recycle the waste accordingly.