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The Central City’s dirty secret

The Central City’s dirty secret

13 Mar 2017 Tags: urban management litter

The CCID’s annual #KeepItClean campaign highlights the Urban Management services it provides in the Cape Town CBD. But what if the organisation and its people weren’t there to clean up after you?

Between 1 November 2016 and 31 January 2017, the Cape Town Central City Improvement District’s (CCID) Urban Management precinct managers had their work cut out for them. During this period, they coordinated the removal of 807 incidents of graffiti, and cleaning of 8 074 drains and a whopping 370kg of cigarette butts tossed on pavements across the 1.62km2 CCID area.

But this was nothing out of the ordinary. The CCID Urban Management team walks the streets of the CBD every day, identifying such issues. They also flag posters not permitted by the City, stickers, and strings left behind after street-pole posters have been removed. The department then deploys sweepers via J&M Cleaning Services and the NGO Straatwerk to clean up. This is why the Cape Town Central City has a reputation for being the cleanest CBD in the country. It’s not magic; it’s hard, dirty work.

However, keeping on top of the litter bugbear has particular challenges, which is why the #KeepItClean campaign is so important. Says Richard Beesley, manager of CCID Urban Management: “Currently we are dealing with a high level of illegal dumping. Most retailers in our area abide by the law and purchase black wheelie bins for disposing of waste. However, some stop short

of buying enough, or they refuse to buy at all. This is why, if our cleaning crews haven’t gotten there before you, you will sometimes see one or two wheelie bins or municipal green bins on the pavement surrounded by a mountain of garbage. Our teams make sure this is properly bagged for the City to collect them, but the mess remains unsightly and unhygienic. It’s better in a bin, and our campaign aims to inform transgressors that the City, assisted by the CCID, will fine them heavily.”

Another common problem is litter and cigarette butts. Urban Management Lynn Oliver notes that these discarded items often find their way into the City’s storm water drains. “Come winter,” she says, “if we haven’t cleaned these out, the CBD will experience flooding.”

So, next time you’re about to drop a wrapper or a cigarette butt on the pavement, spare a thought for the cleaner who is going out of their way to make a difference in way you might not even notice. Trust us, you would if they weren’t there. And then imagine what else they could get to, in keeping our CBD in even better nick, if they weren’t picking up after you.

Did you know?

The CCID deploys 60 professionally skilled street sweepers via J&M Cleaning Services and a 300-strong semi-skilled cleaning and maintenance team via the NGO Straatwerk 24/7/365.

  • This is a common sight before the CCID’s cleaners arrive.

  • Litter can block drains if not attended to.