Everything is recyclable

2016-10-26 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Chistlehurst Academics and Art, a small creative school, has used half the desks indoors and created an outdoor environmental classroom under the trees with the remainder. ABOVE: Chistlehurst pupils with their newly donated ‘green desks’ (from left) Andiswa Shabalala, Thando Zondi, Mnqobi Zungu and Sinead Boshoff.

PHOTO: supplied Chistlehurst Academics and Art, a small creative school, has used half the desks indoors and created an outdoor environmental classroom under the trees with the remainder. ABOVE: Chistlehurst pupils with their newly donated ‘green desks’ (from left) Andiswa Shabalala, Thando Zondi, Mnqobi Zungu and Sinead Boshoff.

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NOTHING is un-recyclable. That is the message from Wildlands Conservation Trust, which has partnered with a recycling company in Johannesburg, Rural Waste Poverty Alleviation (RWPA), for its groundbreaking recycling initiative called Green Desks.

Speaking to Maritzburg Fever recently, Buyi Makhoba, Wildlands marketing strategic manager, said the initiative has been a resounding success, enabling them to assist many underprivileged schools.

“For some of the schools in and around the city, having desks is a luxury, while it is a necessity for others. We have had schools come on board that adopt a poorer school and then collect recycling that goes towards making the desks.

“There have also been numerous big corporate companies that have come on board, who have made financial contributions to make the desks that cost about R700 each.”

Makhoba said it is imperative the community understands that everything can be recycled in some way, and not only stick to collecting the paper, plastic and glass.

“Chip packets, sweet wrappings and the like is what is used to make the desks. It’s about taking the multilayered plastics, that are commonly deemed un-recyclable, and mixing it with the right chemicals, without the use of water, that make the desks,” said Makhoba.

During the popular Wildlands school recycling programme, schools were able to get cash rebates for collecting recycling materials.

Now, instead of receiving the rebates, top recycling schools have the opportunity to barter their entire 2016 waste collection for a classroom of 30 green desks, valued at R21 000.

“This was offered to schools as an opportunity to pilot the initiative, and a formal barter model will be formalised with schools leading into next year,” said Moira Potter, sustainable schools relationships manager for the Midlands.

The public is also asked to get involved in the green-desk initiative and collect multilayered plastic materials and drop them off in a clear packet at their a recycling village closest to them.

All villages are frequently visited by the Wildlands trucks that collect recycling.

The nearest recycling village in Pietermaritzburg­ is at Hayfields Mall, and there are two in Howick and one in Hilton.

Collecting these plastics is not only beneficial to the schools that the desks will be distributed to, but also contributes to decreased waste at the landfill sites.

Interested businesses are encouraged to buy or donate a classroom of desks to schools in need or in the Wildlands’ recycling schools’ network.

To find out more, contact Hanno Langenhoven, Wildlands’ Relationship anager, at HannoL@wildlands. co.za or visit www.wildlands.co.za

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