The daily sight of litter on grassy pavements, under trees, is proof of mainly two things: basic human needs and the absence of waste bins in our CBD.
During hot summer days, especially during the lunch hour, many employees from different shops and businesses like to spend their precious lunch hours in the shade under the trees, especially on grassy pavements. What a lovely, peaceful spot to have your food and drink, to rest your tired feet and to chat away with co-workers or even catch a wink or two. At the end of the month, after strenuous shopping hours and carrying of heavy loads, a place in the shade to relax or have a bite, is so utterly welcome as well! Mothers carrying babies around town and to and from the Department of Home Affairs need to rest them too and even to change nappies.
What a better place than a grassy spot under a shady tree? On the corner of Kotze – and Kruger Street is just such a wonderful oasis. It is just a very sad phenomenon that after everyone has left, it is mostly so very clear that they have been there. Takeaway leftovers, bottles, cans, chips packets sweetor chocolate wrappers, plastic bags and more lie strewn on the pavement and even in the road after such a rest. Some even stick the rubbish in the forks of trees and, of course, in the all favourite spot – the storm water drains. It mostly stays this messy until municipal workers, armed with black bags, tongs and gloves clean up the area, usually early in the mornings. But come lunch time, it is messy again. During one such a lunch hour, a lovely act was noticed.
One man was picking up all the stuff lying around. When commended for what he was doing, he jokingly and smilingly said, “They should pay me for doing this” and also, “Just a pity there are no bins to put it in”. So what did the unknown man do with his collection of rubbish? They were all placed in a neat pile under one tree for the next day’s collection. Had there, however, been a bin, the area might have looked much cleaner from the start. This unknown man unknowingly seemed to hit the nail on the head: Proper bins at strategic points might just help with solving the problem of our littered pavements and streets. Is it not perhaps also a basic human need to not only have a place of rest, but also to have somewhere to dispose of litter?