Volunteers tackle waste


The Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP) successfully hosted its first clean-up day in the Bellville CBD, collecting 315kg of waste. About 125 people volunteered when the GTP, the City of Cape Town and members of the Bellville business community took to the streets on Thursday May 5.

Divided into eight teams, young and old helped clean the area from Voortrekker Road to the train station and from Durban Road to the taxi rank.

GTP project manager Monique Muller said the day allowed participants to realise how much waste is dumped in their own neighbourhood.

“This action provides a unique opportunity to raise citizens’ awareness on the litter problem and to help change people’s behaviour.”

Sub-council 6 chairperson Clive Justus said the clean-up was also aimed at boosting confidence in the business sector of Bellville by helping to attract customers and create jobs.

“We are seeking a clean and safe environment as part of the urban regeneration of the CBD and the Voortrekker Road Corridor.”

Mr Justus said the City had budgeted R12 million to enhance public urban spaces, which will bring significant improvement in terms of landscaping and the realignment of informal trading.

“We hope that business owners will also play their part by growing the economy, creating jobs and rejuvenating Bellville. We need to take responsibility for the space we occupy by keeping a clean environment at home, work, public spaces and our schools.”

Gershwin Fouldien of the City’s Business Expansion and Retention Programme said the clean-up was the result of a study they did with businesses in the area.

“There were four primary objectives that were identified, which include the marketing of the area, making a clean sweep, dealing with taxis and safety and security.”

He added: “Businesses want to operate in a clean and safe environment. They tend to move away from areas that are dirty and unsafe. We want to ensure that businesses remain here and that these businesses grow.”

Other role players included waste collection expert Candice Mostert from WastEd, Mould Empower Serve, the Voortrekker Road City Improvement District and USABCO (Addis).

Addis had 10 volunteers who participated and sponsored 50 brooms and poly bags as well as scoops, buckets and rakes.

Mr Fouldien said this is the type of support the City is looking for. “We need partnerships with local businesses and communities to achieve our development goals for the area.”

Ms Muller said 297kg of the waste that was collected was recyclable.

“We collected 65kg of tins and glass, 45kg of plastic bottles and 187kg of compost. Of this, two Bokashi composting containers were filled with organic food waste which will be donated to Dunatos Remedial School in Bellville.”

The balance of the organic waste will go to the Philippi Partnership towards their worm project called Waste2Food, while 18kg of non-recyclable plastics will go to the Tyger Youth Ambassador Programme.

Mr Justus said there has been a significant improvement in the picking up of and removal of waste off the streets based on the figures they received from VRCID. “We, however, cannot focus all our attention on the picking up of waste; we therefore need a preventative strategy. We need to ensure that those who transgress by littering face the fines that are enshrined in the City’s Integrated Waste Management by-laws.”

He added: “This exercise is to create awareness that waste has value and we can recycle, reuse and reduce the waste going into landfills.

“This can save the City in excess of R350 million a year, which is currently being spent on picking up waste.”

Winston Davids, a volunteer from Addis, said he wanted to do his bit for the community.

“We are here helping the City because it is not only their responsibility but also the community who needs to ensure their areas are kept clean. We are not just doing it for ourselves but for our children to ensure they have a healthy, clean environment.”

Mr Justus called on residents and businesses to make sure they have a wheelie bin and not to put black bags or waste on the street.

* Stolen wheelie bins should be reported to a police station to get a case number, which should then be forwarded to the City’s solid waste department, which will replace the bin within 24 hours.