Tag Archives: Tygervalley Improvement District

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  

Blown Away – How we are preparing to weather the Cape of Storms. 

The saying goes that ‘Great floods flow from simple sources’ and as we prepare for the harshness of the howling gales and pelting rain that make up Cape Town storms, we couldn’t agree more. Many of us are more conscious of the pivotal role that winter preparation plays in city management and what the lack of it can look like as demonstrated in the aftermath of the 2022 KZN floods

“A combination of terrain challenges, insufficient or ill-maintained infrastructure and increased population density are the main contributors to flooding problems,” says Gene Lohrentz, CEO of urban management company Geocentric. 

Here is how we are making sure we are ready to weather the storm: 

Creating a clean eco and economically friendly environment: 

Did you know that according to the Waste 2020 Market Intelligence Report, the Western Cape created between 138 278 and 162 138 tonnes of plastic waste in 2019? This much plastic equates to an estimated market value of between R473.8 and R631.7 million that is simply not being tapped into because of the manpower and infrastructure required to sort it at scale. 

We help turn our trash into cash and create additional value out of waste products by bridging the gap between the litter on the street and the recycling plant. Cleaning and sorting as we go into our appropriate wheelie bins to be recycled directly from the drains and gutters of our streets.  

But it is not only our drains. We also sort the content of the public litter bins.  We service these bins daily and the plastic bottles, cups and cans are now removed and recycled where possible, instead of sending everything to a landfill.

New Weather Stations: 

2022 marks the final rollout of our weather stations. These are vital in monitoring rainfall intensity, giving us information on potential flood areas so that we can preempt pumping them. In our busy districts, the weather also impacts how much accident monitoring we do and helps us ensure we have enough staff to keep infrastructure damage to a minimum and avoid road blockages and closures.   

Taking an upstream approach to ocean conservation 

As part of our winter preparedness programme, we haul out all sorts of items from our waterways. This allows heavy rains to safely run along the contours of the land, into the rivers and eventually the sea.

We consistently intervene to keep our drainage system healthy and prevent waste from entering our stormwater runoff systems by methodically cleaning our drain catch pits and drain inlets.  Just before winter, we ramp this service up as part of our winter preparedness programme. 

Importantly this cleaning means heavy rain runs away from buildings and infrastructure. Preventing damage as much of the cost of flooding is due to the impact that items carried by the water have.

So what happens to all the litter we remove? 

You guessed it, most of the litter removed is plastic bottles, glass bottles and cans which are separated and earmarked for recycling. 

Trimming the Trees 

Every month we carefully trim the trees in our area and report major tree issues to the Recreation and Parks Department and relevant property owners. By professionally caring for our trees before our wind direction changes we prevent any dead, diseased or damaged branches from falling onto people, cars,  electric fences, vehicles, and properties. It also serves to help clear any branches that may be blocking lights, alarm beams and security cameras to make sure criminal activity is kept to a minimum. 

Here is what you can do to help us and yourself this winter 

  • Clear the clutter from your gutter so the water can run off to a stormwater drain safely. 
  • If you do not have additional water tanks ensure your water is draining to stormwater and not sewage drains. To direct rainwater into the sewage system is illegal and can land you with a heavy fine. 
  • The maintenance of security cameras is just as important as installing them. Dust carried by our winds builds up on the lenses turning into the mud with the first rain and making any evidence not admissible in court so it is best to clean them before the rains start.

While no individual raindrop ever considers itself responsible for the flood we all have a responsibility to pull our weight. Our work forms an essential preventative measure that results in environmentally responsible and sustainable prevention of weather-related challenges such as traffic congestion, property damage, and power outages. 

If you notice any weather-related issues please communicate to our Community WhatsApp Group below. 

If you have any 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

0800 872 201 – Give Dignity Initiative 

 

City Improvement District By-Law & City Improvement District Policy

We believe that you are an expert in your area and have seen the positive change we can make first-hand.  You know better than anyone, where our precious resources are best spent and we value your contribution in helping us plan for future projects. 

The legislative structure governing much of our work in your area is up for amendment. We hope that the proposed changes of making the processes of starting and running a CID  more structured will improve the efficiency of CIDs citywide. 

Your suggestions on the proposed amendments to the CID by-law and City improvement district policy can be submitted online here,   emailed to CityImprovement.Districts@capetown.gov.za or written to, City of Cape Town, PO Box 298, Cape Town 8000

Comments and objections may be submitted from 16 August to 15 September 2021.