Campaign to clean up Cape Town's massive litter problem

10 April 2019 - 09:50 By TimesLIVE
Cape Town Central City Improvement District staff at the launch of the annual “It’s time to come clean” campaign on Tuesday.
Cape Town Central City Improvement District staff at the launch of the annual “It’s time to come clean” campaign on Tuesday.
Image: Cape Town CCID / Ed Suter

Around 2.4 tons of litter is dumped in Cape Town's city centre every day.

The Central City Improvement District said its daily bill for picking up the litter is R30,000.

Richard Beesley, head of urban management for the improvement district, said illegal dumping, general littering and garbage, and cigarette butts were the main offenders.

Launching the CCID’s annual “It’s time to come clean” campaign on Tuesday, CEO Tasso Evangelinos said: “We collect illegally-dumped bags, litter spilling out of black wheelie bins and general rubbish in the streets, and have to contend with things like fluorescent bulbs and tubes, dirty styrofoam containers, big boxes and cardboard.

Posters are part of the annual “It’s time to come clean” campaign in Cape Town.
Posters are part of the annual “It’s time to come clean” campaign in Cape Town.
Image: Ed Suter/Cape Town CCID

“Certain businesses, especially in the food sector, generate more waste than can be collected once a day but they don’t want to increase the frequency of their rubbish collection as it will cost more money.

“They then dump their excess waste somewhere else or let their bins overflow, which creates more problems such as an increase in rodents, leading to health-related issues.”

Beesley said stompies remained a big problem even though the CCID had installed 270 concrete cigarette-butt bins in the CBD.

“An enormous volume of cigarette butts still end up on the ground through illegal dumping — far more than the 300kg our cleaners collect from our bins every month,” he said.

The waste campaign will feature interactive “ciggie-butt voting bins” that invite smokers to engage by voting with their butts to a variety of questions on a screen on the bin.

More than 35,000 reusable pouches, which allow smokers to “stash their stompies” instead of dropping them, will also be handed out.

Beesley said: “We would like people to ‘come clean’ and become litter-conscious so we can get to a point where campaigns like these aren’t needed anymore.”


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