Efforts to reduce clutter on Table Mountain

2020-03-03 06:03
Table Mountain. PHOTO: Pixabay

Table Mountain. PHOTO: Pixabay

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Table Mountain stands as one of the proudest icons of South Africa, with the cable way transporting over one million locals and tourists to its summit every year.

An unfortunate consequence linked to masses of people visiting the mountain, is the amount of waste that comes with it – plastic bottles, food packaging, paper tickets and more.

This can deal a devastating blow to the 1 460 species of plants living there, as well as the multitude of fauna who call this beautiful, craggy mass home.

“As proud South Africans, we need to come together and put in the necessary work required to reduce the amount of waste on Table Mountain, in order to safeguard our country’s pride and heritage,” says Wahida Parker, managing director of Table Mountain Aerial Cableway Company (TMACC).

It’s a hefty task, but they’ve proven their eco-abilities before.

TMACC was recognised for Best Resource Management in Waste at the 2019 African Responsible Tourism Awards, by adhering to the United Nations principles on responsible tourism.

Their current waste plan has reduced the amount of waste on the site by 40% and that figure is still on the rise.

Currently, this historic landscape recycles approximately 55% of the waste produced by its visitors. By the year 2021, TMACCy plans to expand that to 80%.

“We take this issue very seriously and will continue to work together on creating the best possible methods to deal with waste disposal. We are certain we can reach our goal to recycle 80% of all waste on Table Mountain within the next two years,” explains Parker.

The cableway’s current recycling initiatives include allocating more recycling bins at both the upper and lower stations, ensuring all beverage and food outlets use compostable cutlery components, and fitting special tanks to the cable cars in order to transport wastewater down to the lower system, where it is drained into a municipal sewer system.

“To safeguard the future of our environment, we will need to work together to make sure Table Mountain is kept green and clean,” says Parker.

This refers to everyone’s responsibility in the conservation of ecology and biodiversity, the preservation of water, and awareness of what creates a healthy environment.

“Our city can boast being recognised as one of the most beautiful locations in the world, along with offering incredible experiences to every tourist visiting Cape Town.

“Our role as ambassadors is to ensure anyone who walks along the summit of the mountain is left with a feeling of wonder and delight, and respect for efforts that are made to protect our mountain,” Parker concluded.

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