Locals join hands to clean up Edenvale Cemetery

“We know the city is in crisis but we can complain about the situation or we can do something.”

Community members came together when a call went out to clean a portion of the municipal property near the entrance to the Edenvale Cemetery.

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The clean-up was made possible after the Environmental portfolio committee member of Ward 18, Lisa Atkins, asked Hurlyvale Lawn Rangers for assistance.

Part of the initiative, started last year by Atkins and Ward 18 counterpart, Andrew Morifi of the Sports Heritage Arts and Culture portfolio, is an example of the work community members do to improve unsightly areas in the town.

Atkins said the non-political volunteer group hopes to tackle all overgrown and neglected public spaces and improve them, thereby assisting the municipality.

“We know the city is in crisis, but we can complain about the situation, or we can do something.”

She said the group recently assisted the non-profit organisation, Revive, and Mamba Security, to remove debris and rubbish from Palliser Park.

Atkins said that during the clean-up, expired medication was found in the belongings of homeless individuals who live in the park.

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She believes the homeless got the expired medication after residents threw it in the refuse and they later found it.

The medicine included high blood pressure and diabetes medications as well as empty cough syrup bottles.

“They use the found medication to self-medicate or mix it with other drugs to get a stronger high,” said Atkins.

In light of this, Atkins plans to speak to local pharmacies to learn where community members can safely dispose of their expired medication.

Others areas the group plans to clean are First Avenue, specifically around the courthouse and the Edenvale Police Station, and Vendor Road and areas near the Sebenza Police Station.

“Councillors know residents are frustrated. The city was called on for assistance, and the city will respond,” said Atkins.

“Everyone understands the frustration, but we need to remain positive.”

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Although the clean-ups are not a long-term solution, Atkins hopes they will give residents a sense of ownership of their town.

She said if community members cannot donate their time, donations of tools such as garden forks, spades, rakes, straw brooms, brush cutters and petrol lawnmowers would be appreciated.

Consumables that they need include sterile gloves, bottles of water, refuse bags or propylene bags.

Call Atkins on 082 900 8847 for more information.

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