Port Elizabeth Central Litter Monitoring

Central, Port Elizabeth has a rich history and heritage dating back many years. Central saw the first meetings between Khoisan, British, Dutch, German, and Xhosa people within the original Cape colony. It also boasts some of the finest and most historically significant architectural attractions in South Africa.

Despite its historical significance, Central has suffered a rapid demise in more recent years. Among the problems, Central is covered in litter. Rubbish is piling up in the streets, the parks, and next to monumental buildings. Plastic bags soar in the wind, and sweet wrappers flutter in the trees.

According to the Nelson Mandela Bay Municipality Waste Management Plan, waste management is not ‘mainstreamed’ in Nelson Mandela Bay. There is a lack of awareness regarding what people can recycle, where to drop off recycling or how to report illegal dumping.

The erosion of Central prompted the community to create a Central Special Rates Area (SRA). The sole purpose of the Committee is returning the Central area to its former glory. Waste management is one of the core focuses of the Central SRA. Waste and its effective management can have an impact on returning Central to its aesthetically proud history. Sustainable

Seas Trust have partnered with the Central SRA and the Mandela Bay Development Agency (MBDA) to implement a three-year study in Central, Port Elizabeth that will monitor the waste on the streets, as well as the impressions of the community.

To conduct a baseline assessment of the area, the first litter monitoring survey was held in Central, Port Elizabeth on 9 July 2020. Thank you to all the volunteers, our citizen scientists, for assisting to gather much needed data. These are the results:

  • 42 bags of litter
  • 10 000 items of which 56% was plastic
  • 135 kg of litter of which 31% was plastic

SST is also conducting an online survey which forms part of the baseline assessment of perceptions to litter and recycling within Central, Port Elizabeth. If you live or work in Central, please click here to participate in our survey. Your participation in this anonymous survey will offer important data for waste management issues.

The data collected over the next three years will scientifically show the impact the Central SRA is making and provide evidence of the improvements for further buy-in by the community. As proper waste management is essential for the reduction of waste going into the environment, programmes like these are crucial in the achievement of SST’s goals of stopping plastic pollution at source on land, before it reaches our oceans.

Other Relevant Articles

Charles Matt Ben


Explore the Shore: A Gift for Ocean Lovers

South Africa’s doyen of marine biology, Emeritus Professor Charles Griffiths, and his filmmaker son, Matthew, have over the last three years been producing a se...

Inkwazi Isu - Regenerating Plastic Waste Management


Inkwazi Isu: Regenerating Plastic Waste Management

In Durban, a unique collaboration between government, industry, and civil society known as the Inkwazi Isu (Fish Eagle) Project is accelerating action to mitiga...



Seasonal beach macrolitter monitoring begins

Over the July to August period, the SST research team will be conducting their seasonal beach surveys at Gqeberha’s Pollok and Coega beaches. Macrolitter will b...

Follow our school of thought and sign up to our newsletter

We’re always factual, accurate and informed.