Winning from waste

2016-08-23 06:00
On their first day, the school already collected 100 bags of waste from the school grounds and the surrounding area. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

On their first day, the school already collected 100 bags of waste from the school grounds and the surrounding area. PHOTO: Samantha Lee

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A Tafelsig school is well on its way to defending their recycling title.

Cascade Primary School is once again participating in a local competition that promotes waste collection that could see the school winning a big cash prize.

The Peninsula Beverages (PenBev) Recycle Race will see 7600 learners from eight schools participating with the winners announced in September to coincide with national recycling day.

On Wednesday 17 August, the school launched their bid followed by a clean-up of the school grounds and surroundings.

Principal Gale Adriaanse says there was a lot of excitement about the competition.

“We did not have a recycling project until (PenBev) came on board and launched the competition. Once we participated in that we continued recycling. It did not go as expected, but there was a continuous collection of recyclable material,” she says.

The school also made some money from this.

The competition officially started on Monday 1 August and ends on Friday 30 September. During this time learners, together with their parents and teachers, will collect as much recyclable plastic, glass, cans and paper as possible for their school.

The recyclable waste collected is weighed and the total weight per learner is assessed. Last year the school collected 2519kg of waste.

This meant the school had an average of 3.5kg collected per learner in just four weeks.

This year PenBev has increased the prize money for the winning school to R30 000 and extended the duration of the competition to run for two full months.

“The school which recycles the most per learner will be awarded a trophy and R30 000 to be spent on upgrades, R20 000 will be given to the runner-up, and R10 000 to third place,” says Priscilla Urquhart, public affairs and communications manager for PenBev.

“We are excited to have prizes for top performing schools and also host clean-up days at each competing school,” she adds.

The school has 960 learners and Adriaanse says she hopes they win.

“My parents are very receptive of it and they definitely helped us win the prize last year by helping us bring in waste, and there is a huge amount of waste lying around in the community. But it has also helped the school encourage the cleaning up of the community and keeping our school grounds clean,” she says.

Adriaanse adds they hope to implement recycling on a school level and then encourage others to also keep their streets clean.

“We want to educate them on why it is important to recycle and what would happen to our planet if they don’t recycle,” says Adriaanse.

She adds that they have involved the parents and the community, encouraging them to help collect waste.

“We distributed flyers and spread the word through our school newsletter. We asked that all the pupils also get their families involved. We may also put in an incentive for the class that collects the most waste this year so that we can collect the most waste to defend our title,” she says.

Each school will receive recycling containers provided by recycling partner WasteWant.

The organisation will also remove and weigh items throughout the competition in order to determine the winning school.

The school has a waste drop-off point controlled by a designated official who manages it.

Cascade Primary school is the only school from Mitchell’s Plain to participate and will go up against Kukhanyile Primary School in Khayelitsha, Morgenson Primary School in Athlone, Nerina Primary School in Bonteheuwel, Eluxolweni Primary School in Khayelitsha, Mokone Primary School in Langa, Parkvale Primary School in Valhalla Park and Willows Primary School in Heideveld.

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