Metro police and traffic and law enforcement officers were lauded at an awards ceremony, at the Civic Centre, on Thursday for their part in an anti-littering and dumping campaign.
The commendations highlighted the role officers play in preventing littering and dumping in communities.
The officers have been kept busy during the lockdown, with 1 315 service requests received in the first six months of the year. During this period, they issued 453 compliance notices, 286 fines and impounded 24 vehicles for illegal dumping.
Mayor Dan Plato said the City’s enforcement services played an important role in educating the public about dumping and littering, the harmful effects on the environment, how to dispose of waste properly and what the consequences are if you are caught dumping illegally.
“We are proud to show appreciation for the hard work done by these officers, even during these challenging times where they have to protect themselves while working to stop illegal dumping,” he said.
The anti-littering and dumping campaign started in November 2016. Under the Integrated Waste Management By-law, vehicles involved in illegal dumping can be impounded. The impoundment fee is R8 700 for the first offence, R11 700 for the second offence and R17 400 for the third offence.The fees exclude the fine of R5 000 for illegal dumping. The person caught dumping must pay both the fine and impoundment fee and submit both receipts to the pound in order for the vehicle to be released.
Mr Plato said cleaning up dumping and littering cost the City R380 million a year. “This is money which we could use for much more positive purposes than cleaning up after inconsiderate and irresponsible people. It is not feasible to spend more and more budget on cleaning, if people simply litter to the extent that cleaning needs to be done every other day. There will have to be a behavioural change and that involves awareness, education and enforcement.”
JP Smith, mayoral committee member for safety and security, said dumping had a serious and long-lasting effect on the environment. “Dumping could also contaminate surface and underground water, as well as damaging City infrastructure,” he said.
Call 021 487 4800 from a landline and 107 from a cellphone to report illegal dumping.