City’s war on waste rages on

29 Nov 2022 in Where We Govern

Standing against a tide of littering and illegal dumping is the City of Cape Town’s Solid Waste By-law Enforcement Unit. This year, hundreds of fines have been issued for improper disposal of waste and other contraventions, and work is not over yet, In addition, work to address theft and illegal sale of blue refuse bags continues.

Thus far, the Urban Waste Management Directorate is pleased to report that a total of 1893 fines have been issued in 2022 for contraventions of the Integrated Waste Management By-law.

Contraventions that result in fines include:

  • Illegal dumping
  • Littering
  • Illegal disposal of hazardous waste
  • Failure to submit a compliant waste management plan by business

Officers also play an important role in preventing littering and dumping by making themselves visible, patrolling illegal dumping hotspots and assisting with education in communities where dumping has become the norm.

Furthermore, a total of 37 operations have been done by the directorate, at intersections throughout the city, to tackle the illegal sale of blue refuse bags. This has resulted in nine arrests, and 47 fines issued relating to illegal trading, obstruction of traffic and failure to comply with directions of Law Enforcement officers.

These blue bags are normally misappropriated by the staff of contractors working in area cleansing programmes. Each bag is however printed with a reference number that allows for tracing the contractor it was issued to, and contractors are financially penalised for each bag confiscated from illegal traders. Four contractors were penalised due to the illegal sale of blue bags issued to them this year so far, with total penalties applied amounting to R48 975.

‘The Solid Waste By-law Enforcement Unit does not have an easy task in front of them. There is so much littering and dumping in so many parts of the city it can seem like an unstoppable tide at times. Although this is a small group of officers, especially when compared to the 4 million residents of the city, they remain committed to deterring littering and dumping wherever they can. Each person who is penalised for littering or illegal dumping will think twice before putting the well-being of our communities in jeopardy again. I can also attest to the valuable work they have done educating communities about how to dispose of waste legally.

‘Preventing dumping and littering through education and enforcement is definitely preferable to cleaning up the mess. Our City already spends too much of our limited resources picking up after residents who have safe and legal waste disposal options available to them. As with most things, when it comes to dumping prevention is better than cure,’ said Mayoral Committee Member for Urban Waste Management, Alderman Grant Twigg.

Residents are requested to please assist the Solid Waste By-law Enforcement Unit in keeping their communities clean by reporting those responsible. The City has launched a 24-hour toll-free number (0800 110077) to report tip-offs about illegal dumping activity. Those convicted of illegal dumping could be fined up to R5 000, have their vehicle impounded, or face a two-year prison sentence. In addition, for every report that leads to a fine and conviction, the City is offering a reward from R1000 up to R5000, depending on the offence. Photographs that help identify the culprits assist in obtaining convictions.