Municipality takes heed of customers complaints about refuse woes
GRAAFF-REINET — Many residents of Graaff-reinet and Aberdeen have been up in arms about the change in time for refuse collection, and after a week, it seems that these complaints have been heeded by the municipality.
On November 23, the Ward 7 ward councillor shared on the ward’s Whatsapp group a notice he had received from Leolynn Smith, Communications officer for the Municipality, concerning the town’s rubbish collection.
It stated that as from November 27 (the following week) refuse would be collected from 05:00, especially during the days when temperatures are expected to rise above 35 degrees.
Similar messages were shared on other platforms including the Graaff-reinet Neighbourhood Watch Facebook group.
While respecting the fact that it does become extremely hot some days, many residents expressed their concerns about the effects of collecting the refuse so early.
The lack of adequate notification was immediately cited, as the information was received too late for inclusion in that week’s Advertiser. Not everybody has access to Whatsapp or Facebook, and no notices were delivered to people’s homes.
Another major problem raised is that most people are not up and about before 05:00. This means they would put their rubbish bags out before going to bed the evening before collection.
With many stray dogs that are not kept inside their owners’ yards at night, and also cats roaming around, residents were concerned that the bags would be ripped open by animals, and this has proved to be the case.
The bags are also vulnerable to people scavenging, a problem seen particularly in Graaff-reinet.
In the past, this has happened in the morningsnow the scavengers have had all night to go through the bags, raising concerns about safety with unknown people roaming about the town after dark.
Both animals and scavengers leave rubbish lying on the street, causing a health hazard, and it is highly unlikely that the refuse collectors will pick up this rubbish. Some people who put their bags out at the normal time last week, unaware of the change, came home later in the day to find the contents of the bags lying around in the street. This has been seen again this week.
There was a short notice regarding the changed times in last week’s Advertiser, but this only mentioned Graaff-reinet, and not Aberdeen. This week, many residents were still unaware of the earlier collection times, and lines of black bags were still seen in the streets well after the truck had finished its rounds.
Several irate residents contacted the municipal offices, but have had no satisfactory response.
At least one person e-mailed the municipal manager over a week ago, with no acknowledgement to date.
In response to the many complaints received, councillors were notified on Wednesday morning by Smith that the time for refuse removal has been changed back to normal times until further notice.