What is Litter?
Litter consists of waste products that have been disposed improperly, without consent, at an inappropriate location. Litter can also be used as a verb. To litter means to throw (often man-made) objects onto the ground and leave them indefinitely or for others to dispose of as opposed to disposing of them properly. It is a human impact on the environment and is a serious environmental issue in many countries. Litter can exist in the environment for long periods of time before degrading and be transported large distances into the world’s oceans. Litter can affect your quality of life.
What is Litter Management?
Litter management can be defined as:
- Action undertaken to reduce and remove litter, and
- Actions undertaken to assist and partner with the community, residents and business in removing and reducing litter and enhancing the appearance and health of Hout Bay
Why do we need a strategy?
Keep Hout Bay Beautiful is committed to providing a clean, safe and welcoming atmosphere for all who live, work and leisure in Hout Bay.
Hazardous materials contained within litter and illegally dumped rubbish can leach into water sources, contaminate soil and pollute the air. Tires are the most often dumped hazardous waste and many of these discarded tires end up illegally dumped on public lands. Tires can become a breeding ground for insect vectors which can transmit disease to humans. Open containers such as paper cups or beverage cans can hold rainwater, providing breeding locations for mosquitoes. In addition, a spark has the potential to hit a piece of litter like a paper bag which could start a fire. Litter can be hazardous and discarded dangerous goods, sharps waste and pathogens resulting from litter can cause accidental harm to humans. Furthermore, litter also carries substantial cost to the economy.
Animals may get trapped or poisoned with litter in their habitats. Cigarette butts and filters are a threat to wildlife and have been found in the stomachs of fish, birds and whales, who have mistaken them for food. Also animals can get trapped in the rubbish and be in serious discomfort. For example, the plastic used to hold beverage cans together can get wrapped around animals’ necks and cause them to suffocate as they grow. Other instances where animals could be harmed by litter include broken glass lacerating the paws of dogs, cats, and other small mammals.
The Keep Hout Bay Beautiful Strategy will:
- Provide the structure to undertake the recommended work.
- Be directed at encouraging a range of actions that meets the existing and future needs identified by our team to decrease litter within the area.
- Place a balance between responsive measures and a proactive approach to address litter in all its forms and curb its occurrence.
What have we focused on?
Keep Hout Bay Beautifuls’ focus being traditional methods of identifying high priority locations and prompt removal/reduction of litter.
Keep Hout Bay Beautiful litter management programs include:
- Litter removal that focused on high priority locations on a needs basis, with inspection and removal by the Keep Hout Bay Beautiful Team
- Responding to resident reports of litter from such areas as playgrounds, roads, and public areas.
The necessity for an approach to litter has become apparent and is addressed by this Management Strategy.