23 June 2011

From trash to cash

Not only is a recycling project good for the environment, it can earn thousands of rands for a school.

Not only is a recycling project good for the environment, it can earn thousands of rands for a school. Erna du Toit started a Liewe Aarde (Dear Earth) project at Jan van Riebeeck Primary School, Cape Town.

Children have a great influence on their parents. If you can motivate the children to support the recycling project, parents are bound to get involved. 

  • You need to motivate people to change their lifestyle, recycle at home and bring things to school. 
  • You need to get contractors to fetch the products for recycling. There are a number of companies you can rely on, which makes recycling a lot easier.

  • Firstly you need the support of the principal. The extent to which he/she supports your efforts can make or break the project.
  • You need to address the learners at a joint meeting to introduce them to the concept. If the learners aren’t motivated they will not persuade their parents to make the necessary changes.  
  • The success of the project is largely dependent on the reward learners can expect if their family takes part in the recycling project. A “civvy” day usually works very well as an incentive. At Jan van Riebeeck Primary we have a book where children’s names are written down by the security guard on duty when they bring material for recycling. These names appear in the school’s weekly newsletter. This system works very well for primary school learners.  
  • The project must be as simple as possible: the place where deposits are made must be convenient and easy to reach. If the project is not sustainable, people will lose interest.
  • The simplest might be to start with glass and paper because there is already a good infrastructure for these materials in a number of cities. The containers are supplied by the companies and they have a contractor who empties them regularly, usually once every two weeks. If you want to recycle other materials like tins, cardboard boxes and plastics you need to supply the containers yourself. Jan van Riebeeck Primary fortunately was able to purchase a number of additional containers through an outreach scheme by the Old Mutual Foundation. It is worth the trouble to ask companies in the vicinity if they would be interested in sponsoring additional containers.   
  • Contact Mondi (011 360 4100) and ask them if they have any igloos for you. Start off with one and see how it goes. The Glass Recycling Company (011 803 8946) supplies containers for glass. Obtain the contact number of the contractor in your area and keep an eye on the container so that you can let them know if thee need to be emptied more regularly. If containers fill up very quickly Mondi is always prepared to supply additional containers.
  • The orange igloos are for paper: newspapers, magazines and any other kinds of paper, thin cardboard like cereal boxes and toilet rolls, egg cartons, etc. No thick cardboard, however. 
  • The dark green containers are for glass and you can deposit any kinds of bottles and glass containers, regardless of colour.  


Read Health24ā€™s Comments Policy

Comment on this story
1 comment
Comments have been closed for this article.

Live healthier

Lifestyle »

E-cigarettes: Here are five things to know

E-cigarettes have become hugely popular in the past decade, but a rash of vaping-linked deaths and illnesses in the US is feeding caution about a product that's already banned in some places.

Allergy »

Ditch the itch: Researchers find new drug to fight hives

A new drug works by targeting an immune system antibody called immunoglobulin E, which is responsible for the allergic reaction that causes hives.