Cleaner Cape Town loses half its litter during lockdown — new study

27 May 2020 - 12:57
By Bobby Jordan
More than 35 tonnes... that's how much less junk was collected in the Cape Town CBD in one month of lockdown compared with an average month before the national shutdown.
Image: Cape Town Tourism / Craig Howes More than 35 tonnes... that's how much less junk was collected in the Cape Town CBD in one month of lockdown compared with an average month before the national shutdown.

Central Cape Town spewed only half as much waste as normal in April during the first month of lockdown, according to statistics compiled by the Cape Town central city improvement district.

The volume of waste collected by cleaners in the city centre dropped to just 35.5 tonnes compared to the average monthly haul of 72 tonnes during 2019, the CCID said.  

There was a notable drop in the volume of cigarette butts, which last year made up a staggering 1,763kg of total waste volume. “It’s a relentless, expensive task, keeping the central city grime-free,” the CCID said on Wednesday.  

The reduced volume of rubbish allowed the cleaning services to give some areas a “deep clean”, said CCID urban management assistant manager Kally Benito.

“As we slowly step into lower levels of lockdown, we will still need to ramp up our levels of de-sanitising the streets to keep the public safe,” Benito said.

“Sanitising the CBD efficiently and effectively is important to reassure people — from business owners to employees, customers and residents — who will return to work and to do business here, that their safety is of prime concern.”