Pollution is a prevailing issue in our society and we need to take a stand against it before it is too late. Our species’ poor waste management habits have caused a titanic shift in the sustainability of ecosystems all around the world. We at Street Scape produce durable concrete bin waste disposal units for the City of Cape Town. As such we know all too well how detrimental littering can be to the wellbeing of our ecosystems and the strength of our economy. If you are interested in learning some pertinent information regarding pollution, this article may be of use to you.
A Burning Issue
Unless you have been living under a rock, you will have noticed the recent surge in the occurrences of forest fires. Only a fool would at this point deny our species’ leading role in causing this increase. We have long since established the firm link between human activity and the deterioration of global climate control.
The resources we burn through in order to sustain our consumerist lifestyles have caused permanent damage to the earth’s ecosystem, causing longer and warmer summers that increase the likelihood of irregular forest fires occurring. And even with the occurrence of natural forest fires on the rise thanks to our impact on global warming, human beings are also physically responsible for many of the worst forest fires we have seen over the past decade.
In the United States of America, studies have shown that roughly 85% of all forest fires that occur in the country are man-made. Humans are essentially causing a crisis on multiple fronts; we are causing the Earth to heat up which then leads to more forest fires occurring and are at the same time directly causing many of them ourselves, most often through negligence.
In terms of combatting forest fires, it would then appear that we have two primary concerns to address as a species. Firstly, we need to slow down or prevent the further degrading of our climates. This will protect our ecosystems from experiencing changes in global temperatures that cause increases in forest fire occurrences. Secondly, we as individuals must do whatever is necessary to prevent ourselves and each other from accidentally causing these fires ourselves. Discarded cigarette butts, glass bottles, and unattended campfires account for far too many forest fires.
In order to achieve the first goal, we need to affect societal change on a grand scale. This entails the people using their influence to inspire eco-friendly institutional reform at a governmental level. We need to convince our global leaders to adopt harsh stances against pollution in order to slow down or halt global warming.
The second goal involves a grassroots approach whereby people take it upon themselves to ensure preventative measures are in place to prevent others from starting forest fires. For instance, one could donate a concrete bin to a camping site or hiking trail where such amenities are not provided. People are more likely to dispose of their trash properly when the option is made available to them. Refuse accumulates in areas where these facilities are not available, especially in forests where the travel time between trash receptacles can often be high.
By donating a concrete bin to a region wherein man-made forest fires are an issue, you would be applying a mitigating factor that will decrease the likelihood of such disasters occurring in the future. This is a simple but effective way in which to actualize positive change as an individual.
Here in the Western Cape, we are fortunate enough to have free access to some of the world’s most stunning beaches and coastlines. Our province’s shores are a strong point of attraction for tourists who frequent our waters throughout the summer months. Our oceans and shores are also home to a countless myriad of aquatic life featuring some of the rarest and most unique vertebrates in the world.
Entire ecosystems can be found in even the smallest rock pools and. Dolphins, seals, whales, and sharks – we have them all. This is why it is a true shame that so many of our beaches get littered with the detritus of uncaring citizens. The general apathy around keeping our beaches clean is most evident during summer when people arrive at the coasts in droves.
What people do not understand is that littering on the beach can lead to some major ramifications. It is absolutely critical that we collectively endeavour to take better care of our beaches before it becomes any more of a threat to our wildlife, affects our tourism, and destroys the natural beauty of these spaces. Besides being unsightly, the trash that people leave on the beach will inevitably end up in the ocean if it is not picked up and disposed of properly. When the ocean is at high tide, it will swallow any rubbish we leave lying around.
It is important to pick up the litter we see on the beach and to dispose of it in a concrete bin. This reduces the amount of waste that gets washed back into the ocean at high tide. Once in the ocean, our rubbish floods into delicate aquatic ecosystems. As it stands, we have already flooded the ocean with over 8 million metric tons of waste. The non-biodegradable waste we send into the ocean through our negligence is especially bad for aquatic ecosystems. Sea creatures such as the majestic marsh terrapin turtle often mistake plastic bags for the seaweed they feed on.
Upon ingesting the plastic that we force into their habitats, these turtles (and so many more sea creatures) typically end up dying from asphyxiation or organ rupture. This is the cruel fate that far too many sea creatures fall victim to on a regular basis. Plastic waste in the ocean has been steadily killing off more and more oceanic wildlife for decades. It has gotten to the point where plastic waste has become one of the primary reasons for the decrease in the population size of numerous aquatic species.
We can already observe the long-lasting implications of this. Most notably, it is beginning to affect the larger ecosystems wherein these creatures live. Our plastic waste is disrupting aquatic ecosystems and causing them to fail. If you want to make positive change at a low cost to time and money, you could consider donating a concrete bin to your local beach. This simple public service would increase the availability of amenities where people can safely dispose of their trash. When such an option is made more readily available, people are more willing to comply.
Healthy Ecosystems Make Healthy Economies
Illegal dumping refers to any form of waste disposal that does not adhere to jurisdictional requirements. Even dropping a chip packet in the street is considered a form of illegal dumping. This issue costs a lot of taxpayer money to fix.
As a matter of fact, Cape Town City alone spends over R350 000 000 every single year in order for the municipality to clean up and properly dispose of illegal dumping. According to statistical research released by the City’s government, it costs us roughly 20 times more to clean up waste dumped illegally as opposed to waste disposed into a wheelie or concrete bin.
Trash should be collected by garbage disposal workers from a municipality-provided wheelie and concrete bin because this system is affordable and manageable. Illegal dumping, on the other hand, becomes costly due to the need for specialised equipment such as front-end loaders being required in order to complete such tasks. This comes at a high cost since all this equipment must be hired.
Due to the structural layout of our towns and cities, waste the is not discarded into a concrete bin will often end up flooding our drainage systems as well as our stormwater canals. This affects waterways and has the potential to adversely influence the quality of our drinking water.
This pollution forces City officials to spend taxpayer money on unclogging hundreds of blockages rain and sewage drainage systems. Pollution in our informal settlements also forces the government to attend to the unblocking of full-flush toilet systems. But this is not an isolated issue since public toilets in the metro area also clog up regularly due to illegal waste disposal.
Furthermore, we are at risk of losing tourism revenue to our pollution problem. Our forests and beaches are two of the primary drawing factors for adventurous international travellers. If we allow these stunning natural spaces to be destroyed by our pollution, we are likely to lose foreign tourism interest.
The money we get from tourism accounts for 3% of our country’s GDP. Furthermore, studies conducted in 2018 show us that over 4.5% of the total employment in South Africa comes from the market sectors pertaining to tourism. Tourism is very much the lifeblood of much of our country’s service industry and a substantial portion of the working class.
We need to take care of our environment. Not only for the sake of our wildlife or our climate but for our economy as well. Illegal waste disposal is causing municipalities to haemorrhage money that could be spent on more important issues. Without tourism, A large chunk of our GDP is lost along with the jobs of millions of people.
How You Can Help
As aforementioned, an easy approach to helping prevent the polluting of our natural spaces is to donate a concrete bin. This way, you can make a lasting positive impact while sacrificing very little of your time and money.
On the other hand, you can also donate your time and effort to clean-up programmes where like-minded eco-conscious individuals take it upon themselves to assist the municipality with cleaning up the litter that accumulates from illegal dumping.
These programmes happen regularly and are easy to join. The best part of attending these programmes is the fact that you get to experience first-hand just how much difference a single person can make.
Furthermore, education is key. If you have children, instil within them the values and ethics that will guide them to making eco-conscious decisions as they grow up. As for yourself, do your research and find out more about ways in which you can decrease your carbon footprint and the environmental impact caused by Man.
Contact Street Scape for Concrete Bin Waste Disposal Solutions
Street Scape is one of the most recognisable brands in waste disposal here in the Mother City. We are committed to making the most reliable and durable concrete products designed to make waste management easier and keep our city safe and clean.
If you wish to donate a concrete bin to an area where it would be of benefit to the environment, contact us to order a product that is guaranteed to stand the test of time. Our other products include bollards, tree elements, and benches. Browse our website catalogue for more information.