Caught Red-Handed: Man Found Dumping Medical Waste in Cape Town
On Tuesday, 24 February 2015, a team of Environmental Management Inspectors, more commonly known as “Green Scorpions” from the Western Cape Department of Environmental Affairs and Development Planning, in joint action with the City of Cape Town, apprehended a man found to be dumping medical waste in Philippi.
The City moved in quickly after the man was spotted around 10:30 dumping thousands of expired tablets into a hole along the Old Weltevreden Road and alerted the “Green Scorpions”. The capsules were also blown in all directions by strong winds, adding to the risk of public health and safety.
An initial investigation proceeded immediately and it was discovered that the man had been instructed by the owner of a local factory to dump the tablets.
Many people, including children, frequent the illegal dumping site, which is in close proximity to a residential area and school. The swift response and close cooperation between the “Green Scorpions” and City officials may have prevented serious harm if the tablets were consumed, especially by children who could mistake the tablets for sweets. The City’s Disaster Risk Management unit conducted a clean-up operation in order to render the site safe.
The role of the Department’s “Green Scorpions” is to monitor the environment and investigate environmental crimes such as illegal dumping of waste, which includes toxic and medical waste, illegal property developments within environmentally sensitive areas and illegal clearance of critically endangered eco-systems.
The public are urged to immediately report illegal dumping in their neighbourhoods and to take photographs if possible.
To report illegal dumping or other environmental crimes please call the National 24 Hour Hotline: 0800 205 005 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.