Recycling project inspires pupils

2009-07-31 00:00

A GRADE seven teacher at Merchiston Preparatory School has set a wonderful example by initiating a recycling project at the school’s premises.

Trish Collocott was instrumental in getting the project off the ground and her efforts have led to the school’s introduction of recycling bins at various strategic points all over the school grounds. Collocott is herself an avid recycler and also runs the school’s environmental club.

Launched in 2007, the recycling project aims to educate pupils about proper waste management. It has since taken off successfully and even inspired pupils to write and present a play about the importance of recycling.

The recycling bins are placed in groups of four and have been colour co-ordinated to make it easier for pupils to know what to place in each bin. A blue bin is designated for drink cans only, a yellow bin is set aside for clear plastic bottles and plastic bags, a green bin is meant for clean dry paper and cardboard and a red bin is for general rubbish.

Reader Kirsten Marwick said Collocott needs to be applauded for her wonderful initiative and most of the pupils’ parents are greatly supportive.

“I wish more schools and businesses would set up recycling bins around their premises,” said Marwick.

TRISH Collocott writes: Perhaps we could now draw the attention of the Waste Department to the top end of Hoosen Haffejee Street (Berg Street) and West Street and Victoria Road and … yes, the list is endless. The seriousness of these littered gutters will become apparent yet again when the spring and summer rains come. These drains overflow and cause the intersections to flood. I do, however, appreciate the effort that goes into cleaning the top end of Church Street and the middle section of West Street on a nightly basis. There are just not enough bins.

The Msunduzi Municipality failed to respond by the time of going to print.

A concerned resident writes: I recently reported the street light situation at the bottom end of Howick Road. This bend leads into a very busy intersection with Hyslop Road. There are no fewer than six street lights that are not working. Has a switch tripped somewhere? Apparently the problem was rectified for a very short period a few months ago, but all too quickly reverted to an extremely dark stretch of road.

The Msunduzi Municipality failed to respond by the time of going to print.

Dave Barrowman writes:The attached photo was taken on the morning of Saturday, July 18, when I finally couldn’t take the trash dumped at the junction of Murray and Beacon roads in Bellevue anymore and cleaned up the area. It took me over two hours and I didn’t manage to collect it all.

The bakkie load represented trash collected at the junction and up to approximately 150 metres either side of the area.

I would like to appeal to The Witness to request that Bellevue residents and their domestic workers not dump their garbage on the roads. If each resident takes ownership of the immediate public area and road verges in the vicinity of their homes and ensures that all litter is collected regularly, it would make a huge difference.

I certainly don’t enjoy having to drive through a rubbish heap to get to my home and I’m sure very few of them do either. It is interesting to note that the highest number of common items were cigarette packets, beer bottles, fast food containers and sweet wrappers.

Is there nothing the municipality can do about littering and dumping in the suburbs?

The Msunduzi Municipality failed to respond by the time of going to print.


R. SINGH writes: We greatly appreciate your support in assisting ratepayers in securing responses from officials in the Msunduzi Municipality.

Regarding letters of complaints — The Witness (July 17, 2009), “No covers for swimming pool” — and statements made by the manager of Parks Board and Development saying, “We are committed to sports development in the Msunduzi area” — these simply boil down to lip service.

How on earth can development transpire when these managers fail to provide facilities? If these officials were really committed, then those two organisations that had applied for facilities — where development would have been undertaken — would not have been still waiting for a response.

These are so-called committed officials who fail to make themselves available at an important public meeting concerning issues within their departments. I was present at the Woodlander meeting regarding the recently burnt crematorium, and not a single official from the Msunduzi Municipality was present. What are these officials afraid of? Was it that they would be unable to respond to questions surrounding lack of service and maintenance at the crematorium, or failure to deliver, or were they afraid of being seen as incompetent?

These are highly paid officials who “window dress” by being photographed with street children in the name of development, while in reality they are failing to provide an acceptable service to ratepayers. Lip service is cheap — action speaks louder than words.

Trish Collocott also writes: I do firmly believe that people genuinely need educating when it comes to using the gutters as a refuse dump. About 10 years ago, a man came round to our school from some department with very informative posters. He explained the use of storm water drains and the need to keep them clean and clear. He said they were speaking with the informal traders in town too. I suppose that effort went down the tubes.

By the way, it was only 30-odd years ago that Australia had a huge campaign to encourage people to take their rubbish home with them after an outing. Littering does not create employment. It creates an impression of no pride in your town or country.

MOE Barnard writes: I wish to thank the owners and staff of OK Mini-Market and College Road Video for doing the municipality’s work by cleaning up the mess in front of the properties in College Road. The mess is left for weeks on end. Maybe if a councillor lived in College Road near New Scotland Road things might be different and the area cleaned regularly. Now the residents of College Road know why a wall was built around Parkside; not for security, because the premier is hardly ever there, but so the mess in College Road is not seen and the hooting of the taxis is not so loud.

ORDE Munroe writes: One solution would be for the municipality to have a “service request” website where citizens could describe problem areas in the city and request their immediate attention. The municipality would have to monitor the input closely and organise and schedule a “filth swat team” to eradicate the mess and fine any wrong-doers.

DO you take pride in your city? Then play an active role in our Take Pride in Your City campaign. Imagine the difference to our environment if each resident helped keep the city clean. Let us know about residents who are actively doing something about the state of filth and neglect in the city so we can feature them on our pages. Let’s all take pride in our surroundings, even if it’s just a street or verge.

You can e-mail your pictures, stories and suggestions for the municipality to nelly or

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