BCC guns for litterbugs

Bulawayo has witnessed an increase in illegal dumpsites, with some located in the central business district.

BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has fired warning shots to litterbugs, declaring that they will be arrested and fined as the local authority intensifies its fight against waste dumping. 

According to the latest council minutes on waste management education and enforcement, Bulawayo has witnessed an increase in illegal dumpsites, with some located in the central business district.

“Fourteen (push) carts and one wheelie-bin were impounded for dumping waste around that area," the minutes read. 

“Forty-seven deposit fines were issued for illegal dumping during the month of January and 19 had been paid by January 30. Twenty-eight remain unpaid. Of the 14 (push) carts that were impounded, six had paid the fine and had been released to their owners. Eight were still impounded.”

Bulawayo has been touted as the cleanest city in the country, but peculiarly the council does not have a particular by-law on littering, but relies on borrowed by-laws derived from the Public Health Act as well as the Environment Management Act.

According to the latest council minnutes, councillors feel that current high levels of littering and illegal dumping in the city needed to be reduced.

However, the local authority admitted that it was facing challenges because its refuse fleet is grounded due to constant breakdowns.

“Healthcare waste collection remains unsatisfactory due to vehicle shortages,” council said.

“The situation was compounded by the refuse removal fleet that is ageing and thus frequently breaks down. Refuse compactorswere last procured more than five years ago when according to the transport policy every year at least one refuse compactor must be procured.”

Indications are that refuse supervisory vehicles remained insufficient with 10 supervisors sharing the only available three vehicles that frequently break down. 

"This has severely crippled supervision of cleansing activities. There is a need for the section to be capacitated with supervisory vehicles,” the minutes read.

“Furthermore, there is an urgent need to procure additional refuse compactors as the city is growing and so isthe illegal activities which increase waste volumes.”

A more detailed report on the matter will be submitted in the next meeting this month, the minutes added.

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