News / South Africa / Local News

Mfundo Mkhize
2 minute read
14 Feb 2019
2:31 pm

Medical waste illegally dumped near primary school in Pietermaritzburg

Mfundo Mkhize

A resident found 187kg of illegally dumped medical waste dangerously close to Ashburton Primary School last week.

EcoCycle employees who had an arduous task of trying to establish who was behind the illegal dumping From left is Menzi Memela, Timothy Bloem and Nicholas Ndlovu.

Medical waste has been disposed of barely 500m from Ashburton Primary School in Pietermaritzburg, reports Maritzburg Sun.

This included capsules and toxic syringes that resident Bromehead almost ran straight into last week while trying to ascertain the escape route of criminals who had ransacked his home.

Bromehead’s home was invaded that same morning by brazen criminals who made away with two laptops, a bicycle, tables, and two cellphones.

ALSO READ: Recycling project turns used medical waste into school shoes

Although the illegally disposed medical waste has been removed, concerned residents are up in arms and wanting answers as to who was responsible for dumping the waste on the doorstep of a primary school.

“This is really unacceptable and should not happen because it places the lives of the little ones in danger,” said Bromehead.

He said a concerted effort was needed to nip these incidents in the bud before it continued unabated.

“I am in the process of trying to get hold of the municipality who may be able to help,” he said.

The waste was cleared by the Msunduzi Municipality’s waste department on Saturday morning.

One of the Ashburton Primary School teachers said she was glad the issue was being dealt with.

“I’m glad that the whole area has been cleared. We have a lot of our learners who walk in that area. Who knows what might have happened to them had they gotten their hands on such garbage,” said the teacher.

Council personnel handed the waste to the Mkondeni-based EcoCycle Waste Solutions, which specialises in disposing of hazardous waste. The company counts leading medical institutions among some of its clients.

Speaking to the Maritzburg Sun on Wednesday, officials from the company said although they were pleased that the area had now been cleared, they would conduct their own investigations into the matter. Facility manager Charles Perkins said he was disappointed that this happened.

“This is really wrong. People should never take shortcuts as it puts the lives of people at risk. I am glad that I have now spoken to the principal of Ashburton Primary School, whom I told that I have an open door policy should a similar issue come up ever again,” said Perkins.

Perkins commended the municipality for acting swiftly.

His colleague, Daren Dickson, who is a microbiologist at the facility, said the public ran the risk of being susceptible to a number of diseases.

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