Johannesburg City Parks and Zoo expresses its gratitude to participating Resident Associations, Volunteers and Rotary Clubs; corporate sponsors and security companies, environmental groups, religious associations and the media for uniting with more than 191 countries to remove tons of recyclable waste from the city’s water bodies on the occasion of the World Cleanup Day 2022 in Joburg.
The event coincided with World Parks Day and was marked by locals gathering on Saturday, September 17, 2022, at key points along the Jukskei in Alexandra; Sandspruit and Lonehill Dam; Blue Dam in Homestead Park; Braamfontein Spruit and Klipriversberg Dam and Moroka in Soweto – to clean, sort and bag recovered waste.
“A number of residents with waders, rakes and gloves tackled the core of the grime in many heavily polluted sections of the various spruits, fishing out the loose rubbish. This was followed by larger groups sorting the material and bagging it for collection by City Parks; Pikitup; waste pickers and resident associations, under the theme ‘end of plastic’,” said Jenny Moodley, spokesperson for Johannesburg Parks and Zoo.
The event was supported by environmental groups and the city’s environmental educators stressing the importance of sorting household waste at source; the costs and consequences of illegal dumping and the subsequent impacts of polluted water on the environment and on the lives and livelihoods of our loved ones.
“The reality is that even though the fine for illegal dumping has been increased to R5,000, which excludes the cost of site restoration and a free collection service for residential bulk waste, the rubbish and dumps continue to mount. sharply. Johannesburg City Parks and Pikitup are unable to maintain their daily cleaning activities without the conscientious support of residents and the waste collection industry,” Moodley added.
The cleanup, which included residents from more than 27 sites, concluded with a ceremony in Delta Park to thank participating organizations and residents led by Paul Chinn of the New Dawn Rotary Club. The National School of the Arts Choir aptly closed the event, leaving Delta Park in pristine condition, with their heartfelt rendition of Carly Simons’ Let the river run.
Environmental initiatives such as World Cleanup Day and World Parks Day serve as essential platforms to keep residents informed and involved in the maintenance of public spaces and to foster civic pride and ownership of the city of Joburg.