The volume of waste collected in the Cape Town city centre decreased by almost 50% since the national lockdown, statistics by the Cape Town Central City Improvement District (CCID) show.
In March their cleaners collected 44.5-tonnes of waste in the city centre, and 35.5-tonnes of waste in April. The April figures reveal a 50.7% reduction compared to the average monthly haul of 72-tonnes seen in 2019.
“While this is a drop from the average 72 tonnes per month, the CCID picked up in the CBD in 2019. It is still a surprising amount of waste for a CBD shut down by measures to stem the tide of a global pandemic,” said the CCID.
They also noted a drop in cigarette butt litter, but did not reveal the exact figure. In 2019, 1 763kg of the total waste collected were cigarette butts alone. In 2019, the CCID spent R30 000 per day and R11-million annually to keep the CBD clean, in addition to the standard waste removal.
Thanks to the smaller volume of waste, cleaning services are able to deep-clean the areas more effectively.
CCID urban management assistant manager Kally Benito explained that sanitising the CBD is a top priority.
“When the CBD returns to full functionality again, keeping the busy streets of downtown Cape Town at a higher hygiene standard can help build trust from global markets,” says Benito.
“We are so fortunate to have a committed group of front-line cleaning staff who have been active since lockdown began, and who have worked tirelessly to keep up with our risk-reduction strategies. The economy depends on us now.”
“As we slowly step into lower levels of lockdown, we will still need to ramp up our levels of de-sanitising the streets to keep the public safe,” Benito said. “Sanitising the CBD efficiently and effectively is important to reassure people — from business owners to employees, customers and residents — who will return to work and to do business here, that their safety is of prime concern.”