The City of Cape Town officially explains illegal dumping as:
“[T]he depositing, discharging, spilling or releasing of any kind of waste in or on any public space. This includes waste that is loose or in boxes, barrels or bags. Public places include open fields; vacant or occupied land; roadsides; sewer systems; and waterways”
Illegal dumping is often small-scale, perpetrated by local residents dumping household waste and rubbish into vacant land. In severe cases, businesses are involved. The construction, landscaping, and manufacturing industries produce high amounts of waste that make waste disposal in unmonitored areas a convenient, but illegal, option.
Either way, people tend to resort to this illegal practice in order to avoid the costs of responsible waste disposal; Along with little concern for the fauna and flora of our community. Local authorities and concerned NGOs are then left with the task of cleaning up – and at high expense:
The City of Cape Town reported in 2016 that R350 million is spent annually in cleaning up illegal dumping. This works out as 200% more expensive than standard collection from wheelie-bins owing to the hiring of special equipment. Cape Town sewers are also affected by dumped household objects. In 2018, it was reported that R170-million is spent every year in just fixing blockages caused by frequent dumping into the sewerage system.
Penalties for these crimes range in severity and persons found guilty can face fines ranging from R500 to R10 000.
The impacts of illegal dumping are far reaching and directly blight the community. Dumped waste may be hazardous to the public and children in particular. Broken glass and ceramic, nails and construction waste, pose a risk of injury when dumped in areas with pedestrian traffic.
Fortunately, local government has in place several ways to curb illegal dumping:
- More than twenty drop-off facilities for disposing recycles, garage and garden waste
- Three operational landfills for waste which cannot be recycled or reused
- Free green litter bins in informal settlements
- Hotline to report illegal dumping activities
Alternatively, consider opting for a skip hire company in Cape Town for waste disposal. Delivered directly to your home or business, SkipIt Green skips have a capacity of 2 cubic meters and accept a wide range of waste types. Your waste is disposed responsibly at a registered municipal landfill or drop-off site. Contact SkipIt Green.