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‘Cape Doc’ litters
Refuse bins

A Bothasig resident says despite the roll-out of the brand new green lid recycling wheelie bins being a step towards helping to save the environment, it also causes littering.

According to the Visserhof Road resident, Shaun Anderson, the 140 litre wheelie bins are too light to withstand the Cape’s strong southeasterly winds. He says on very windy days, the bins are blown over which leaves the area littered with recycled items, including paper, cardboard, glass and plastic.

The bins were rolled-out by the City of Cape Town in ward 1 (Plattekloof, Panorama and Monte Vista) and ward 5 (Edgemead and Bothasig) in October.

“I told the council at the time that this is going to cause a problem.

“These bins are designed in Johannesburg.

“So someone from here just ordered the bins forgetting that this is Cape Town where the wind blows extremely strong.

“We cannot have the same products here as in Johannesburg,” Anderson say.

As a precautionary measure Anderson himself had placed bricks at the bottom of his bin in order to weigh it down.

‘They could have added a weight at the bottom, but they don’t think. They just waste taxpayer’s money.

“I understand that it is something good the council is trying to do, that we need to recycle. The idea is fantastic and people are recycling, but it is littering our streets.

“Look it is still new, and people will say it is fine for now, but I foresaw this happening,” Anderson adds.

The bins are emptied by WastePlan on Thursdays.

Speaking on behalf of the company, Cathy van der Westhuizen, said they do not provide the bins. “The bins are supplied and delivered by the City of Cape Town,” she says.

Helen Carstens, ward 5 councillor and chair of subcouncil 3, says one solution is to discard of the recycled items in plastic bags.

“Let me explain it like this. The City collects refuse from residents and supplies a black refuse bin. The City does not supply the black bag to put in the bin and no resident throws their rubbish directly into their black bin – they all put it into some kind of bag whether a black bag or other bag.

“Likewise, the City has supplied ward 5 and parts of ward 1 with a free recycling bin. The contract to collect it has been awarded to WastePlan. Neither the City nor WastePlan are obligated to provide bags. 

However, it is advisable to place the recycling in a clear plastic bag in order to maintain some level of hygiene, as well as to prevent items from flying around in the wind,” Carstens explains.

She says she has pursued kerbside recycling in ward 5 for five years. 

“The advice is to put the recycling items in a bag. This also makes it easier to collect, as recycling is currently not an automated service like refuse collection is. 

“It is done manually and it makes sense that it would be easier and faster to empty the bag onto the trailer truck,” Carstens says.

All waste collected in green lid wheelie bins are transported to the Kraaifontein Materials Recovery Facility.

“Although many residents in my ward have been recycling privately for many years, it is a new concept to many of the other residents,” Carstens say.

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