Residents mark wheelie bins to help reduce theft

Ryan van der Watt, his wife Helene, Sybil Woodman, Natalie Bent, Anthea Abrahams and Pauline Ricks.

Mitchell’s Plain police have warned that theft of municipal wheelie bins is on the increase.

Captain Ian Williams, Mitchell’s Plain police station spokesman, said the theft continued to be a concern for them. 

“All dirt bins remain council property,” he said, adding that bins should only be put out on dirt collection days and should not be used to transport or cart goods.

Captain Williams said people found in possession of a dirt bin used for any other reason could face criminal prosecution.

On Saturday August 22, Colorado Park residents had their bins branded with their addresses in a bid to easily identify stolen property.

Natalie Bent, a former Mitchell’s Plain ward councillor and former sub-council chairwoman, said she had tabled a motion to have law enforcement officers enforce the by-law of restricting the movement of wheelie bins.

“But this proved difficult because there was not enough manpower and they had to monitor vast areas,” she said.

She then challenged her neighbours to mark their wheelie bins and use it as an opportunity to earn money.

“Residents have been vigilant with regard to people walking with bins and informing those to be on the lookout and reporting to our city wide security company in our area,” she said.

She said residents recently signed up with a security company, who have been instrumental in assisting in limiting theft, muggings, hijacking within the area.

Last week the branding initiative was launched, with residents paying R70 each to have their bins marked with their address.

Businessman Eugene Benjamin, from Colorado Park, who does the marking, said that a percentage of the fee is used to fund local registered neighbourhood watches.

He said that the exercise had a double reward of supporting volunteers and curbing crime.

Ms Bent had also proposed that the bins in each area are colour-coded.

There are currently branded bins in Colorado Park, Rondevlei, Westgate, Old Woodlands, Rocklands and Portland.

She has also said that Colorado Park residents would cover the costs of residents who could not afford it.

“This initiative would be a success if residents take ownership of their areas, monitoring and assistance of security companies,” she said.