Picture: Matthew Jordaan/African News Agency (ANA) Archives
The mounting cost of keeping the inner city clean was the driving force behind the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) cleaning campaign, #KeepItClean, which started this week and runs until the end of the year.

CCID chief executive Tasso Evangelinos said R30 000 was spent daily in keeping the city clean.

“The CCID sweeps and picks up, on average, 2 400kg of litter from the streets in town seven days a week at a cost of R30 000 a day, which amounts to nearly R11 million a year. What a waste,” Evangelinos said.

He said the aim of the campaign was to raise public awareness about the importance and ever-increasing cost of keeping the central city clean.

“We collect bags dumped illegally, 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,” Evangelinos said.

He warned that if Capetonians continued to litter at the pace they were now, the city would run out of landfill space with all ratepayers and businesses “paying the price in increased rates and taxes”.

With the 2019 campaign, the CCID targeted illegal dumping, general littering and refuse, and cigarette waste.

Richard Beesley, manager of CCID urban management, said the campaign played a crucial role in raising public awareness about keeping Cape Town clean.

“This year’s campaign reiterates the ‘it’s time to come clean’ message that the CCID has been promoting for the last two years. We are once again repeating it and will do so until people get the message loud and clear,” Beesley said.

Beesley said the main challenges remained littering, cigarettes and illegal dumping.

“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.

Beesley said that while the work of the CCID’s teams was commendable, the aim of the #KeepItClean campaign was to bring about behavioural change. “We would like people to ‘come clean’ and become litter-conscious so we can get to a point where campaigns like this aren’t needed anymore.”

CAPE TIMES