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Sweating for clean streets

The global trend of ‘plogging’ has swept into the Mother City through the Green Point City Improvement District (GPCID) clean-up team. Originating in Sweden, the first part of the name “plogging” is derived from the Swedish phrase “plocka upp”, which literally means to pick up litter. The next part of the word comes from the English word: jogging. Plogging is a way to keep the city clean and work out at the same time.

In partnership with Straatwerk and Averda, GPCID has started implementing this trend to keep the fan walk clean four times a week.

Hannes van der Merwe, the manager of Ophelp Projekte under the Straatwerk umbrella, had the idea to incorporate plogging into the GPCID’s cleaning endeavours. Straatwerk is a multi-faceted organisation that focuses on the reintegration of disenfranchised individuals back into society. The GP/OKCID and Straatwerk have a long-standing working relationship.

Van der Merwe had seen the phenomenon online and recommended it to GPCID Chief Executive Marc Truss as an affordable and effective solution to keep the fan walk clean. He oversees the work done by waste management company Averda in Green Point and Mouille Point, so put them forward as a service provider.

The initiative is a great way to approach the often ‘mundane’ task of cleaning. Truss believes that exercise is vital to maintaining the health of employees and is impressed by their hard work. “I am proud of the team’s dedication and willingness to participate in this fun new venture.”

The cleaning team had a regular exercising regimen, which included jogs to and from the stadium. Subsequently, this has been replaced by plogging the length of the fan walk, collecting litter as they go.

The challenge is to complete the course in the fastest time possible, leading to a full cardiovascular workout as plogging burns more calories than the average jog and employs more muscle groups through bending and reaching for litter.  Cleaners receive a score based on their time and how much litter is picked up. Those that complete the route in the stipulated time frame receive an extra monetary reward on top of their shift payment. “That amount of sweat deserves to be rewarded!” adds Van der Merwe.

Originally published in People’s Post: 26 June 2018


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