The addition of extra green bins along Campground Road in Rondebosch is being blamed for an increase in litter at the Rondebosch Common.
Local resident Brett Adams says the recent increase in the number of green bins along the stretch of the road opposite Rustenburg Girls’ High School has exacerbated the littering problem on the 40-hectare conservation area.
“This (stretch) is near to what we call ‘The Pines’. It is a lovely spot to walk because of the shade and logs to sit on,” he says.
However, Adams claims the majority of people who walk and sit there are not residents but street people. He claims they scratch in the bins for scraps, leaving a mess. “The wind then blows all the papers and so on onto the common,” he says.
The founder of a small group of clean-up volunteers (Common Cause) who meet every Thursday (“For the Common good”, People’s Post, 20 April 2021), Adams says he has been picking up litter under The Pines for almost two years.
“I do this mainly on a Saturday morning or Sunday morning so that weekend patrons can enjoy the common without the eyesore of all the litter.”
He says last year the litter became noticeably less. “But since the new bins, the problem has increased,” claims Adams.
This is not the first time the efficacy of the City of Cape Town’s Green Litter Bin Project has been questioned (“Lifting the lids on bins”, People’s Post, 31 August 2021).
Green bins are usually placed in areas where there are high volumes of pedestrian traffic.
When People’s Post approached the City on this issue last year, they confirmed the misuse of green bins was a common problem. However, the City said there also had been occasions where the result of removing litter bins had seen increased littering. Residents can approach the City with a request to remove green bins from a specific area. The City evaluates each case on its own merits.
Katherine Christie, councillor for Ward 58, says the general sense in the ward is that the bins are doing more good than harm.
“Green bins are a great contribution towards, keeping our city clean and disposing of litter. However, there are times when some business or shop owners use them to dump their rubbish, such as outside the Choo Choo Park in Belvedere Road.”
Christie adds that some bins are on a thoroughfare where many people walk, such as the path around the common.
“So many people deposit their rubbish in the bins that they begin to overflow.”
She says in cases where the bins constantly overflow – for example at Silwood Centre – Rondebosch Community Improvement District (RCID) has requested Solid Waste to remove the bins.
In the meantime, Adams encourages others who make use of the common to pick up litter when they go for a walk or a run. He also urges patrons to report any incidents of intimidation experienced at the common at Rondebosch Police Station.
“The police are only as helpful as we are. If they don’t know about the situation, they won’t do anything. So the more people who phone in, the better.”