Tag Archives: illegal dumping

Illegal Dumping: What It Is and How to Stop It

Did you know? That annually over 180 000 tons of waste are cleared from illegal dumping hot spots! That costs the city, and you as the taxpayer, a staggering R350 million a year just in clean-up. In other words, cleaning illegal dumping costs 20 times more than collecting waste from wheelie bins. That is why to create a clean, healthy and safe community we take our work tackling illegal dumping very seriously. 

“Illegal dumping is a severe problem that puts our community at risk of injury and illness and pollutes our ecosystem. In addition, illegal dumpsites can serve as magnets for other criminal activities,” says Gene Lohrentz, CEO of the urban management company, Geocentric

Here is what we have learnt when it comes to illegal dumping. 

What is illegal dumping?

Illegal dumping is the disposal of unwanted materials in inappropriate places. Be it household rubbish, building waste or industrial debris, improper disposal has disastrous effects on the environment, economy and community.

Our teams are dedicated to cleaning our community and have cleaned thousands of cases of illegal dumping in the last year!

Protecting Property Values

Our daily work with the City of Cape Town’s (COCT) Solid Waste By-law Enforcement Unit protects our district from plummeting property values. By cleaning, we keep our community member’s properties safe by preventing pest issues, blocked storm drains and plastic pollution.  

Clean streets don’t just look great, they also improve the value of properties. The study ‘Value of cleaner neighbourhoods’ found that residents will pay up to 57% more to live in a clean neighbourhood. By being part of the solution business owners can help protect and even increase the market value of their property and make their establishments more inviting for customers. 

Protecting Public Health 

Vermin are attracted to dump sites making these sites sources of disease and infection. Anyone near a dump site risks getting sick both from the hazardous materials dumped and from the diseases spread by rats. These diseases aren’t only formidable – they’re often fatal. Rat urine is responsible for diseases like Leptospirosis ( causing kidney and liver damage) and Hantavirus, a debilitating viral bronchial disease. Rats also gnaw at cables, transformers and electrics causing expensive damage to businesses.

By cleaning up this waste before it attracts vermin, we put a stop to these health hazards before they happen. 

Preventing Floods 

Water sustains life, but it can also cause widespread destruction, as we saw during the recent flooding in KwaZulu-Natal. As our most precious and essential resource we must treasure it – for if we don’t, we will suffer. 

Illegal dumping is a terrifying threat to the water management of our district. When it rains, excess litter is swept into drains and sewers, blocking them and causing trash flash floods. Flooding, and the infrastructure damage it causes, puts immense pressure on emergency services when they are needed most.

To make sure our city can handle the rain we collect all dumping regularly and clean the stormwater drains as part of our winter preparedness programme. 

Pulverizing Plastic Pollution

A large percentage of waste illegally dumped is plastic. We are well aware that its consequences are far-reaching, but we are tackling this challenge too. When possible, we sort the waste and recycle what we can instead of sending it all to a landfill. By sorting recyclables, we help reduce the waste in our waterways and create employment opportunities. 

We understand it’s almost impossible to recycle all waste. However, we also know that big things have small beginnings. We all make small changes to bring about positive collective transformation.  Where possible, we must all take the opportunity to recycle.

How You Can Help Combat Illegal Dumping?

The COCT provides the tools necessary to crack down on illegal dumping and needs citizens to get involved. By reporting dumping you help the City make improvements and encourage others to do the same. Plus, it’s an easy way to beautify your neighbourhood and help keep it safe.

Although the issue is vast, if we all play our part together, we can create a greener, cleaner future for ourselves and future generations.

If you spot something, say something!

To report illegal dumping in your community:

  • Call 0860 103 089 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za. 
  • If you have the culprit’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her you can shortcut the process and call 021 400 6157

Contact details: 

If you have any safety concerns to report, please contact one of the following numbers:

·       10111 – SAPS (South African Police Services)

·        107 – City of Cape Town Disaster Management

·        021 565 0900 – Geocentric Control Room 

Illegal Dumping in the Spotlight

The problem of illegal dumping is one that occurs in most areas of the city and is also one of the main challenges that the ERCID has to contend with. 

  • People are prepared to change, but only if they are constantly monitored and warned regarding the consequences of dumping. 
  • Some incidents stem from persons coming to the various scrap dealers and trying to dump waste not accepted by them. This comes from street persons / horse and cart operators and unscrupulous waste handlers. 
  • ERCID engages with these persons and encourages them to make use of the City’s drop off facilities, of which Parow Drop off Facility is situated close by and disposal is free of charge. We also indicate that if caught and reported to Law Enforcement they can face fines up to R20 000. 

 

The paragraphs BELOW are extracts from the website of the City of Cape Town, where it is pointed out that dumping is highly illegal. 

What exactly does illegal dumping entail?  

“Illegal dumping is the depositing, discharging, spilling or releasing of any kind of waste in or on any public space. This includes waste that is loose or in boxes, barrels or bags 

“Public places include: 

  • open fields; 
  • vacant or occupied land; 
  • roadsides; 
  • sewer systems; and 
  • waterways. 

“Although the City has a number of waste management strategies and services in place for dealing with all types of waste, we have a dumping problem in Cape Town. It is one of the biggest challenges the Solid Waste Management Department faces. It is expensive, damages our environment and is harmful to ourselves and our animals.” 

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PLEASE NOTE 

“Dumping on any public land is illegal and an offence: We work closely with SAPS in illegal dumping investigations. If you are found guilty of dumping illegally you could be fined between R500 and R10 000 and could get a prison sentence of 6 months to 2 years. 

To report illegal dumping in your community, call 0860 103 089. 

If you have the culprit’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her, call 021 400 6157 or email solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za. “ 

On the website, the City of Cape Town goes on to appeal to residents and businesses to assist in curbing and dealing with the problem: 

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Help us control dumping 

Look out for our Big Green Bins 

Green waste bins have been placed near toilets in informal settlements and public toilets so that residents can dispose of waste properly. In 2014/2015 and 2015/2016, the City rolled out 929 bins in 24 informal settlements at a cost of approximately R753 000. Eventually these bins will be placed in all informal settlements where we are legally able to place them. 

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Do your part 

  • Buy additional waste bins if you need them. 
  • Make others aware of the importance of keeping our environment clean and litter free. 
  • Fence off your property to prevent others from dumping on it. 

 

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Report illegal dumping  

To report illegal dumping in your community, call 0860 103 089. If you have the culprit’s vehicle registration number and/or can identify him/her, call 021 400 6157 or email: solidwaste.bylaw@capetown.gov.za.  

In order to be sure that you are fully informed on the contents of the City’s Waste Management By-law, visit the website www.capetown.gov.za  

City of Cape Town: Integrated Waste Management By-law, 2009 

Published in Province of Western Cape: Provincial Gazette no. 6651 on 21 August 2009 

  1. Amended by City of Cape Town: Integrated Waste Management Amendment By-law, 2010 on 4 June 2010 
  1. Amended by City of Cape Town: Integrated Waste Management Amendment By-law, 2016 on 30 June 2016