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Tuesday Jan 08, 2013

Joburg property owners up in arms over refuse bin ruling

Guard your refuse bin, even when it is waiting to be emptied outside your property for hours or sometimes days. If it is stolen, you face a replacement fee of R385, excluding VAT.

This is what Pikitup is expecting Joburg residents to do.

Joburg residents want to know how they can protect their Pikitup bins against theft and damage if they have to be left outside homes to be emptied.

The utility has announced that from February 1, a charge of R385 plus VAT will be levied for broken or stolen bins.

Residents, however, are demanding to know how they are supposed to protect their municipal wheelie refuse bins from damage and theft when they have to be left outside for collection. They claim they cannot be expected to guard the bins.

To add to their woes, Pikitup workers are often not careful with the bins, throwing them around and leaving them lying on their sides.

Pikitup spokesman Pansy Oyedele said Pikitup previously issued the first 240-litre refuse bin, as well as the replacement of these bins when stolen and damaged, free of charge.

During the 2011/12 financial year alone, Pikitup replaced about 8 500 wheelie bins, at a cost of about R3 million.

"This trend is not sustainable, and this money could well be spent on accelerated service delivery. Furthermore, it has come to the entity's attention that bins are being utilised for purposes other than the containerisation of refuse.

"Some people utilise the bins for storage of goods other than refuse, as well as transportation of goods," she said.

Oyedele reminded customers that the wheelie bins remained Pikitup property and could not be used for any purpose other than for the holding of waste, nor could they be moved out of the council's jurisdiction.

Stolen or damaged wheelie bins will, from February, be replaced by Pikitup only on receipt of an upfront payment by the user.

Kensington resident Madeleine Fullard said the new charge for a replacement bin was "terrifying".

"It is now going to place a monetary value on these bins and make them targets for theft, and innocent residents will become victims, having to fork out replacement costs for what is not their fault.

"My bin was outside my gate for an hour last month and was stolen. What do we have to do? Place a security guard next to it every week?" she said.

Payments for new bins will have to be made at the nearest walk-in centre and not through a commercial bank or electronic funds transfer.

Proof of payment for bin replacement, indicating the ratepayer's account number as a payment reference number, should be faxed to 011 712 5322 so that a bin can be delivered to the ratepayer's premises.

The Star


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