A dedicated Plastics|SA clean-up team consisting of more than 100 workers employed from informal settlements around Cape Town, once again worked tirelessly to ensure the race routes used for the recent 2018 Cape Town Cycle Tour and Mountain Bike Challenge were kept clean and litter-free.
Under the guidance of John Kieser, Sustainability Manager of Plastics|SA, this was the 11th consecutive year that the team was responsible for the area cleansing and waste management of the road race and the 7th year that they were also given responsibility for the Mountain Bike Challenge.
“I think we can rightly say that this clean-up crew should be considered race veterans by now and that they have an intimate knowledge of every hill, valley, twist and turn of the routes,” Kieser says.
The primary goal of the clean-up crews is to ensure that the waste generated and left behind by cyclists and spectators on race days, is collected as quickly and efficiently as possible. Besides ensuring minimal disruption to other cyclists and traffic, the waste is also removed and recycled in line with the overall goals of the environmental policies of the areas impacted by the sport events.
Owing to the water shortage in Cape Town, cyclists used more energy drinks in multi-layered sachets (known as “Gue”). Kieser reports that the littering of this material was notably larger than in previous years. As a result, their final sweep of the race route on the Monday after the Cycle Tour, took much longer than usual.
Raising awareness about litter and recycling
“The active and visible involvement of the Plastics|SA clean-up team and the red PETCO-branded bins and truck at these annual events are most certainly helping to create an awareness of the mountains of litter generated at big events such as these and the importance of recycling,” Kieser said.
With the support of waste management company WastePlan, more than 10 truckloads of waste consisting mainly of energy drink sachets and other high value plastic waste was collected and removed for recycling.
“We are deeply thankful that we experienced favourable weather conditions this year, and for the organisers and sponsors who provided funding, clothing and food parcels for the clean-up teams. It is always a pleasure working with a team such as this, which has to operate under great stress. A wonderful atmosphere was experienced along the way and we all felt that we had the privilege of being part of something truly wonderful,” Kieser concluded.