Heidelberg transfer station a disgrace

YIKES: Quite an eye-sore.

THE state of the Heidelberg transfer station in Alrode, Alberton has been a thorn in the side of many residents for some time.

The RECORD has received several letters of complaints regarding dumping sites, in particular, the Heidelberg transfer station, with complaints ranging from it being in a state of disrepair, rubbish is strewn about and not in bins, too much staff who just sit around all day at the tax-payers expense and more.

“We conducted an unannounced oversight visit on November 23 to the Heidelberg Road transfer station in Alberton. The findings of this visit has revealed a complete disintegration of operations,” said ward Clr Tiaan Kotze.

“Minimal access control leaves the site open to vandalism and theft, but more serious issues have revealed themselves with deeper probing into the site,” he added.

According to Kotze, garden waste is getting dumped all over the site, forming piles three meters high. Building rubble is also becoming a problem and ends up in new piles instead of in designated waste bins due to the inefficient and mismanagement of the site, he told the RECORD.

“The compacter costing millions of Rands has been out of order for years with no clear timeline of its repair and reactivation.

VERY DANGEROUS: An open manhole, causing a risk to anyone who may pass by.

No regard for employees

“We discovered that the ablution facility had no running water for a number of months, forcing workers to use the veld instead of the toilet facilities. The showers are also out of order. This is the ultimate indignity, which shows how the City of Ekurhuleni treats its workers.

“The facility also hasn’t had power for months either; the lack of lighting makes workers feel unsafe as they leave the facility late in the afternoons.

SERIOUS DAMAGE: Security doors completely ruined.

“Gates to the staff facilities have been bent open and access are gained through the broken safety gates,” Kotze said.

“We also uncovered oil and oil drums dumped into the manhole, which houses the main water line to the site. This can lead to groundwater contamination and is a serious environmental concern.

“This is yet another indication of the inefficiency and incompetence of the Environmental and Waste Management Services MMC, Clr Ndosi Shongwe, who attends numerous international conferences while ‘Rome burns under her watch’.

“I will be writing to the MMC for urgent intervention at the transfer station. The Human Resources Department will also be informed regarding the dreadful work environment in which workers are forced to work in,” concluded Kotze.

LIKE A LUMBERED FOREST: Tons of tree branches and garden waste laying around.

Themba Gadebe, spokesperson for the City of Ekurhuleni had this to say:

In response to the current status at Heidelberg transfer the following need to be observed:

Minimal access control on-site:

In terms of security deployment onsite there are two security guards that are deployed during the day.

There are also three security guards with a dog deployed at night.

On November 23, depot management received a report that there is no security on site during the day. Upon inquiry by depot management from EMPD Loss Control, they were not aware of the matter.

When depot management further enquired with the security guard on the morning of November 30, the information received was that the security guards left the site to go to Germiston to collect uniforms from the new contractor since the current contractor’s contract ends on November 30.

PILED HIGH: Rubble and waste laying high at the transfer station.

Garden waste and rubble dumped:

This is due to a number of breakdowns especially on vehicles that are dedicated to the Heidelberg transfer station. Members of the public, including garden waste companies, were directed to dump garden refuse and rubble at a designated area within the facility for control purposes and in order to avoid illegal dumping outside the facility and in the Alberton area.

The contractor responsible for removal of illegal dumping has been busy clearing the dumped waste in the designated area within the transfer station.

The identified garden waste is currently being cleared.

DISGUSTING: Oil drums dumped down a hole, with water supply running just beneath it.

Ablution Facility:

The ablution facility was broken into recently and water pipes were cut and a number of items were stolen. The matter has been reported to SAPS and a case number was given.

The depot has also undertaken the process of insurance claims.

The depot has recently installed a high mast light and due to the facility being on the outskirts of the town there has been cable theft for a number of times which affect the supply of electricity on site.

RUBBLE EVERYWHERE: Building rubble and trash as far as the eye can see.

Whenever there is cable theft or no electricity onsite the matter is reported to the municipal’s energy department for their intervention.

The matters, which include the lighting and the process of the commercialising of the compaction unit at the facility, were raised and responded to in the recent member of the mayoral committee, customer care area managers, councillors and departments meeting, but Clr Kotze was not present although he did send questions via a colleague.

MOUNTAIN OF MESS: A mix of waste, garden refuse and building rubble laying in massive mounds.

Oil Manhole:

The site has a designated area/manhole which is meant to dump used oil.

BROKEN: The fence completely broken.

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David Pienaar

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