As part of N3TC’s #BinYourLitter campaign, road users will notice new signage displayed along the N3 Toll Route to remind them to play their part in keeping our country clean and our environments safe.
Although it is unlawful, South Africans seem to have adopted a lackadaisical approach to littering, as can be seen in many of our towns and cities, and along our highways and byways.
“No matter who you are, or where you are from, we need to remind ourselves that we are the custodians of this planet and guardians of our homes, communities, towns, streets, roads and wildlife. It is high time that we hold each other accountable for protecting our natural habitats, water resources and our communities in the interest of our own health and safety, and the well-being future generations,” says N3 Toll Concession’s operations manager, Thania Dhoogra.
“With the #BinYourLitter awareness drive, N3TC aims to remind all road users that waste is not only unsightly bit it is also often highly toxic and harmful to humans, animals and our environment. Litter poses a serious threat to our way of life. We can no longer afford to turn a blind eye to this disastrous reality,” says Dhoogra.
Each day N3TC’s maintenance teams spend many hours picking up roadside litter. It seems to be a never-ending cycle of back breaking work.
More than 6000 bags of rubbish are bagged every month. This includes anything from soiled baby nappies to cigarette butts, food scraps, empty liquor or cool-drink bottles, cans, plastic, fast food wrappers and more. However, it excludes large items such as dropped loads, vehicle parts, pieces of metal and rubber or other large items that cannot be bagged.
“Clean-up costs along a national road such as the N3 quickly add up to significant amounts. Money spent on waste collection and removal could have been allocated to infrastructure and community development, or contributed to economic sustainability and growth. Instead it is literally wasted on the detritus of our consumer culture and laissez faire attitudes.”
Apart from the financial cost, the environmental degradation caused by litter is enormous. It ends up in water systems, impacting aquatic habitats, wildlife and the wider ecosystem. Roadside waste often contains toxic chemicals which leach into the ground and eventually end up in freshwater streams and rivers and ultimately the oceans. Furthermore, carelessly discarded litter may have disastrous consequences including the spread of pests and diseases, causing wild fires or road crashes and leading to the loss of lives, habitats, assets and infrastructure.
“Litter ultimately diminishes our ability the use and enjoy our spaces, turning them into unpleasant places. We are pleading with all road users to help us stop this tide by avoiding illegal dumping and only disposing of your litter in the correct manner at appropriate places. Clearly marked rubbish bins are placed at key points along the N3 Toll Route. Please use them where you can safely do so,” pleads Dhoogra.
On the N3 Toll Route, road users can report illegal dumping or any dangerous objects on the road to the 24-hour N3 Helpline on 0800 63 43 57 or send a message to @N3Route on Twitter.