Washing on street ‘not very green’

2015-05-19 06:00

I was under the impression that Woolworths was very into the green economy, anti-pollution, recycling and the use of environmentally-friendly packaging as well as the use of less plastics, etc.

This, in any case, is their message presented to the public.

Last week while travelling down Beach Road I saw something that took my breath away. Woolworths was using a public pavement as a washing bay for its trolleys.

Fish Hoek already has a bad reputation regarding the quality of the beach and seawater and now this from a company with the supposed reputation for its concern of nature.

It was patently obvious that the chemicals used as well as the actual dirt removed from the trolleys were being allowed to enter the stormwater drain system that has a direct outlet on the beach.

Firstly, I find this behaviour totally unacceptable and, secondly, I was under the impression that such actions were in breach of the bylaw regarding pollution. At one stage Council even stopped car washing in public areas such as car parks.

Council already wants to ban dogs from beaches due the “presents” left behind by owners of dogs who make the beach area unhygienic for the public but more especially for children.

Response by City of Cape Town mayoral committee member for health Siyabulela Mamkeli:

An inspection was conducted on Tuesday 12 May at Woolworths, Fish Hoek, with specific reference to the washing of trolleys in Beach Road.

The washing of the trolleys was not observed at the time of inspection. However, the environmental health practitioner brought the matter to the attention of the store manager who immediately put remedial measures in place by making arrangements to have the trolleys cleaned on the premises. The washing of the trolleys in the road and the discharge of wastewater into the stormwater system is illegal and in contravention of the City’s environmental health bylaw.

The store manager was instructed to immediately cease this practice and to ensure that no wastewater emanating from the store, as a result of washing trolleys or otherwise, is discharged into the stormwater system. This matter was also brought to the attention of Woolworths’ head office.

Woolworths has undertaken to comply and implement alternative procedures for cleaning its trolleys.

The premises will be monitored to ensure future compliance

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