Has the Garbage Drop-Off Zone been carefully considered?

A couple of weeks back St Francis Today published a notice for the proposed site for the Garbage Drop-Off Zone (re- published below for those who have not seen it). A study of precisely where the proposed site is located by an observant reader reports the intended site is in the industrial area off Tarragona Road near God’s Acre in Sea Vista. If this is indeed correct, which seems likely if the publish erf reference is correct, surely this proposed site has not been carefully considered. Certainly it is quite conveniently situated for St Francis Bay residents for easy access but that seems the only advantage.

These drop-off zone s exist in several towns and cities in South Africa and work extremely well as they centralise garbage disposal facilities that can be easily accessed by residents to dispose of the wet and dry garbage as well as provide a facility for efficiently collecting re-cyclable refuse. At these established facilities, skips are provided to allow garbage to be pre-sorted into plastic, paper, glass, tin, wet, garden cuttings and so and one would imagine the proposed facility would provide something similar. These skips are then regularly collected by skip-trucks and then transported to be emptied at lands fills or recycling facilities.

If Tarragona Road fed only the industrial area of St Francis it would certainly be a well-considered decision but Tarragona also borders on the residential area of Sea Vista. Kids and dogs play alongside the road to say nothing of the many adult pedestrians who use the road. Traffic is generally made up of lighter commercial vehicles and motor cars but even so, one has to often take evasive action not to knock a kid or dog over. Now add a few big trucks, particularly over the season when there are more kids playing on the streets and more regular collections will be required. An accident waiting to happen? It will take only one kid to be maimed or killed to cause the municipality to be forced back to the drawing board to re-think the location of such a facility, all at ratepayer’s expense of course.

The authorities will probably counter that the skips will only be emptied once or twice a week so there won’t be a noticeable increase in large vehicle traffic. But this too would be unacceptable for leaving garbage to rot over an extended period of a few day, particularly during the hotter months, would pose a possible health hazard to the residential area that lines Tarragona Road. And judging by past performance of some of the services provided by the municipality, it wouldn’t be long before the refreshing of the skips no longer was a priority and collections would become less and less frequent, increasing the potential of a rodent infestation and spreading disease.

Why not create the drop-off zone on or near the existing tip? Most residents are familiar with the location of the tip and it is well placed between Cape St Francis and St Francis Bay. Most importantly, it is away from a residential area and the inherent dangers it poses of children being injured or killed. Lastly it is well away from a residential area where it could in the longer term cause the spread of disease.

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Kouga Municipality - Waste Management