Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
BULAWAYO City Council (BCC) has unveiled a revised refuse collection schedule for the city’s eastern and industrial areas as the local authority battles to clear heaps of garbage which have been piling up following a five-day strike by its workers.
The workers downed tools demanding a review of their salaries and this crippled critical services such as refuse collection, primary health care and burials.
The industrial action resulted in uncollected garbage in the city centre and residential areas piling up.
The workers returned to work on Monday following negotiations.
Acting Bulawayo Town Clerk Mrs Sikhangele Zhou said council has come up with a new timetable for refuse collection as it battles to clear the backlog emanating from the strike.
“We have come up with a new domestic and industrial refuse removal schedule for this week so that we clear the backlog following interruptions in services due to the industrial action by our workers. The area of solid waste management and refuse collection was the worst affected,” she said.
According to the new schedule, the areas which should have been covered between Monday and yesterday are Riverside, Sunninghill, Waterford, Selbourne Park, Bradfield, Famona, Ingutsheni Central Hospital, Highmount, Harrisvale, Sauerstown and heavy industrial site.
Others include Hillside, Matsheumhlope, Morningside, Burnside, Fourwinds, Riverside, Fortunes Gate, United Bulawayo Hospital (UBH), Woodlands, Romney Park, Paddonhurst, Ross Camp, Thorngrove, Kenilworth, Queenspark, One Brigade (Khumalo) Barracks and Barham Green.
According to the schedule, today, the council is set to clear backlog in Montrose, Southwold, Khumalo, Parklands, Malindela, Woodville, Mahatshula, Ilanda, Killarney and parts of Glengary.
Mrs Zhou said last week they managed to clear garbage in the city centre and in western suburbs.
However, residents are accusing council of non-adherence to the refuse removal schedule.
“Council is not being sincere when it comes to following their refuse collection schedule. Garbage has been piling outside my yard for days until I decided to burn it” said Ms Janet Ndlovu of North End.
Mr Peter Sibanda who stays at a residential flat in the city said: “I saw a council refuse removal truck collecting garbage which was piled up in our sanitary lane on Thursday last week. They didn’t return and the garbage has started to pile up again.”
Chronicle news crew yesterday observed that a heap of garbage which had been cleared last Friday, has resurfaced at the market place between Jason Moyo Street and 5th Avenue.
BCC is struggling to collect refuse in both residential and commercial areas resulting in illegal dumping of waste in open spaces and sanitary lanes.
The garbage dumped in undesignated areas is now a breeding ground for diseases and vermin.
BCC spokesperson, Mrs Nesisa Mpofu, attributed the piling of garbage in sanitary lanes and open spaces in residential areas to the local authority’s inability to collect waste on time due to few refuse compactors.
BCC has 17 refuse compactors, six of which have broken down and two refuse box trucks, which are both down.