Tips from NMBM’s Top Recycling Schools

BY Vicky du Toit

The Schools Recycling Project, run by The Waste Trade Company, was implemented in 2009 and has since grown to service over 280 clients in Port Elizabeth, Despatch, Uitenhage, Colchester, Kirkwood and Addo.  The majority of these clients being schools, but churches and nonprofit organizations are welcome to participate as well. 
The Schools Recycling Project aims to empower children with the knowledge and principles of recycling by involving them in various ‘hands on’ educational activities.  Furthermore, it offers schools with a fun extracurricular activity at no cost, and it can even generate funds for the school!  The project is based on the following principle:  “Tell me and I’ll forget, show me and I may not remember, involve me and I’ll understand.” 
The project has shown considerable growth in the last 4 years, 2016 being the year with the highest average volumes per month.  “Anyone who follows us is aware of all the exciting initiatives we have to motivate all participants to recycle.  We believe that our future lies in the hands of our children, and therefore we are committed to making this project sustainable,” says Kay Hardy, General Manager of The Waste Trade Company.
“We are so excited to kick the year off with our top recycling schools,” says Emmy Nxayeka, Schools Project Coordinator of The Waste Trade Company, “looking back at 2016, in one year all of our schools managed to save an average of 8800 trees!!!”
Kabega Primary, recent winner of Plastic SA’s Clean-up and Recycle Competition and winner of their category for The Top Green Organisations Awards, carried the winning flag for being the top recycling school in Port Elizabeth for the last term of 2016 once again.  They managed to collect a total of 12990kg of recyclables!  “Kabega Primary has truly made us proud, and we look forward to supporting them in their future endevours,” says Howard Bulkin, owner of The Waste Trade Company.  Mr Andrew Jonas, principal of Kabega Primary mentioned that he would be interested in having Kabega’s learners visit one of the other top recycling schools, and would be happy to invite them to visit Kabega too, “I think it would be a good opportunity to offer the learners an opportunity to learn from each other.  Thank you to Mpact for the R3000 prize money, we will plough this back into all our green projects at school.”
New entrant, Molefe Primary, won second place for the last term of 2016, with a total weight of 5738kg of recyclables.  “What, we came second?!” exclaimed a very surprised Mrs Nomalunga Kwatsha, a school teacher and the organiser of the enviro club, “wow, we are so happy!”  Principal Xola Rasi was very grateful for the R2000 prize money, donated by Mpact Recycling SA, “the money will help us relieve our paper shortage, so we can start the year on a good note,” Mr Rasi also advised other schools on how to make a recycling project work; “motivation and education is key, remind and encourage the learners, and involve the parents!”  Molefe Primary also manages their own vegetable garden, which is used toward meals for the learners.  They intend keep winning in order to purchase a water tank for the school. 
Uitenhage based school, Albertyn Primary, won third place with a total weight of 4533kg.  The school won a cash prize of R1000, donated by Mpact Recycling SA.  “We worked very hard to collect and sort all our recyclables, especially in December, we had a whole classroom full,” says Mrs Huiskens, teacher and coordinator of the recycling “but you are only as strong as your team, many hands make lighter work”.  With the help of The Waste Trade Company, the school plans to upgrade their recycling facilities so that they can start fresh with the new enviroclub learners this year. 

 January 16, 2017
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Vicky du Toit

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