Refuse removal wrath

Margaret Lawrence, Somerset West

I have been struggling with refuse removable for the whole of this year and, to a degree, for the whole of the last couple of years.

I have phoned, I have called in to the office, I have emailed constantly. Since the beginning of March my bin was emptied eight times, all after complaining – what brought the matter to a head was that my bin, despite complaints, had not been emptied from the May 15 to June 19.

I had been told there was a 48 hour turn around and upon enquiring, after the 48 hours, I was told that they didn’t know when it would be emptied.

By this time the “bin scratchers” had consistently pulled out the black bags, torn them open and left the waste all over my entrance (I had been told to leave the bin out until it was collected).

In desperation I wrote to Bruce at Primedia (Cape Talk) and informed him of my on going problem. Amazingly enough, it was emptied the very next day – leaving all the rubbish strewn all over my entrance.

I am 78, and partially disabled so could not pick up everything all at once. I am still having problems which are reported on a weekly basis.

Of late I have been refusing to pay for the (non) collection of my bins and have been told (verbally) that, as I own my property, the charge is compulsory whether my bin is emptied or not.

How can that be legal? If a service has not been performed how is it legal to enforce payment? I have still deducted payment from the times my bin was not collected and my account is mounting up.

Upon personally complaining about my last non removable of refuse I enquired about the water account.

I had heard from someone that there was a surcharge which was going to be added to those whose usage is low. As my usage is between 3 to 4 kilograms, I was concerned.

I was informed that there was no surcharge but there would be an extra charge which would be set according to the diameter of the pipe which enters my property. I remarked that the flow had been restricted already so it did not make sense.

My extra charge -according to my pipe size – will be R100 or so I am told. I am caught either way. The only answer seems to be to sell my house which I have lived in for nearly 30 years.