Illegal dumping takes centre stage in Cape Town with new project
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Cape Town - The City of Cape Town announced that despite spending more than R100 million annually on efforts to clear dumping from almost 3 000 dumping hot spots, dumped waste reappears almost immediately after its cleaning.
In light of this, two illegal dumping hot spots in Nyanga and Gugulethu, were chosen for a new pilot beautification intervention by the City's Solid Waste’s Cleansing branch. Local communities and non-governmental organisations transform these dumping hot spots into living green spaces for the community.
Water and waste mayco member Xanthea Limberg said the process included clearing the waste using specialised equipment such as grab trucks and diggers, then local residents, together with City representatives and the assisting NGOs got to work planting the now-clear space with indigenous plants donated by the City’s Recreation and Parks department.
Limberg said Indigenous plants were resilient to the region’s weather patterns, and did not require much maintenance or water. Four other spaces have since been identified for this beautification project.
Gugulethu councillor Luvuyo Zondani said that while this beautification would raise awareness on the issue of illegal dumping, it would not reduce dumping in the area because they had no dumping sites in their townships, even with their overpopulated communities.
Zodani said an average budget of R330 000 was spent to beautify one spot.
“Dumping is a challenge because more than 95% households have one dustbin, while the same household has more than five other backyarders or households that accumulate dirt,” said Zodani.
The Gugulethu community said that in order to truly combat illegal dumping in the area, the City needed more frequent rubble removals and dustbin collections, longer contracts for Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) workers to maintain these dumping areas, give each household an extra dustbin and continue with sustainable education on the impact of dumping.
“Property owners or landlords with backyarders or tenants, are encouraged to apply for extra bins to contain the waste their tenants generate on the property. This is an important step for preventing dumping and pollution in surrounding areas,” said Limberg.