Scottsville pupils lead in recycling

2011-09-14 00:00

THERE’S a new slant on the “three Rs” — reading writing and arithmetic — as Friday, National Recycling Day, approaches.

“Reuse, reduce and recycle” is the new mantra, with Pietermaritzburg residents buying into the green approach.

Central Waste’s Kelvin Lloys-Ellis said “participation from the public is excellent”, with recyclables doubling since the Msunduzi Kerbside Programme began in 2009.

The programme supplies orange rubbish bags in which recyclables can be separated from other waste and collected for free.

Lloys-Ellis said “there’s a lot more we can do”.

He and his brother, Terence, agree that generating “awareness is the biggest problem”, but the advantages of a recycling-savvy public are huge.

Collection of orange bags and sorting their contents is a great way for small businesses to begin, and recycling helps the municipality and the environment by reducing landfill contents by half, Lloys-Ellis said.

Central Waste’s figures show the quantity of recyclables increased from 31 680 kg last year August to 42 530 kg last month.

South African Plastics Recycling Association general manager Annabe Pretorius said new plastic products made last year grew by 4,7% and plastic recyclables have grown by six percent.

“To achieve that growth there is obviously bigger awareness.”

Pretorius said the household separation of waste and recyclables (like the orange bag programme) is “the biggest single contributor” to this growth.

But it is not just business driving the recycle revolution.

Scottsville Primary School is “the best recycle centre in Pietermaritzburg”, Terence Lloys-Ellis said.

School maintenance manager Justin James said “the children drive it themselves” from grade RR to grade seven. It’s about the children’s “passion” and “very dedicated staff, parents and pupils”.

The school has been recycling for 10 years and has used the money it receives from Central Waste to plant 200 indigenous trees on the premises, James said.

Their project has been so effective it has caught the attention of Scream for Change, an environmental and social society at the University of KwaZulu-Natal.

Finance students Felix Botsanzira and Michael Sewera are involved with the society and were recycling at the school during yesterday’s bi-weekly drop-offs.

Sewera said they find the school’s recycling an “interesting programme”.

Without any incentives Scottsville pupils are recycling with a smile. For them it is about doing it for the environment.

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