Sunday, 7 June 2009

Litter: Pick it up!

There was an anti-litter campaign held on Saturday, promoted by radio stations, to encourage people to clean-up their neighbourhoods. I think it may have only been Joburg? This initiative aims to clean up the areas of Jo'burg around the stadiums and tourism attractions. Pikitup, the garbage collection company, was involved and the campaign's message was, "You pitch in and we'll Pikitup".

My local resident's association organised a litter clean up along the main roads in Kensington - Langerman Drive and Queen Street. A small number of residents (there were more than just the bunch in this photo) assembled on the corner of Queen and Langerman, receiving garbage bags from Pikitup. It was really great to see parents arriving with their children. We split into groups and got to work.

Although there were the usual plastic bags, sweet wrappers, bottles and papers, my pet hate is the hundreds of cigarette butts. When the regular street cleaners clean, they pick up papers, cans, bottles and such. Cigarette filters and bottle caps and straws require one to bend down to pick them up. Joburg City Parks uses the term 'deep cleansing' to describe the process of cleaning up little litter pieces. I deep cleansed.

It only took us about 90-minutes to do our sections and it was great fun and satisfying to see what we'd accomplished. Also a lovely sense of community and neighbourly spirit.

Our resident's association is leveraging off this spirit to establish regular teams to tackle various hot spots around Kensington with regular clean up days.

I'd really like to see homes and stores take responsibility for the patch of pavement and road outside their walls. If each one took responsibility for that small section, it would make a huge difference. Sure, some other dirty pig put the litter there, but now it is in your space. Zip-zap... you can clean it up in a few minutes with little fuss (keep a pair of dishwashing gloves handy for this task).

Litter has always been my pet hate. Please don't turn a blind eye to it, especially when it is outside your doorstep. Bend over and pick it up; in one movement you've made a big difference. And try to get the people along your road to do the same.

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