Fire continues to rage at landfill site in Pretoria

Image: 123RF PaylessImages

A fire continues to rage at a landfill site in the east of Pretoria that started on Sunday.

City of Tshwane acting executive mayor Cilliers Brink said in a statement on Thursday the Garstkloof landfill site in Elardus Park was “engulfed by a raging compost fire“.

The City has set up a mobile clinic at the Erasmuskloof Fire Station to treat residents affected by the fire.

Tshwane Emergency Services spokesperson Johan Pieterse said no one has reported to the mobile clinic.

The City urged residents to close their windows and doors to limit smoke inhalation and keep children indoors.

“There is also no threat of the gases from the waste that is buried underneath catching fire as the waste is covered by more than 1.5 metres of soil cover material‚” Brink said.

“The current status is that two compost heaps have been opened up and extinguished throughout the night. The strong windy conditions are hampering our efforts to douse the fire swiftly.”

The City started using the site to process shredded garden refuse to make compost as part of City’s recycling programme about three years ago. The site was previously used to dump and bury general waste before it reached its height limit.

According to Brink‚ smoke started coming out of one of the rows of shredded garden waste on Sunday. He said the cause of the fire remains unknown‚ but it is suspected to have been caused by a “spontaneous combustion of waste“.

According to the City‚ this is caused by combination of high temperatures in the middle of the waste heap and hot weather conditions.

“Due to the intense heat and strong wind‚ the fire spread throughout the entire landfill site of compost heaps causing a huge cloud of smoke that is now hovering over some parts of the City’s eastern suburbs.”

Brink said there is no threat of the fire spreading to nearby properties.

Pieterse said one of the problems with compost being on fire is the compost has to be opened up before it can be extinguished.

The City said they would erect tents at Sports Park in Lyttleton‚ Centurion‚ to accommodate residents affected by the fires.


Would you like to comment on this article or view other readers' comments? Register (it’s quick and free) or sign in now.

Speech Bubbles

Please read our Comment Policy before commenting.