Recycling initiative brings hope to homeless

2017-11-01 06:02
One of the Re-Trade Project’s traders, Wilson from Walmer Township, is sorting through his collected items.            Photo:SUPPLIED

One of the Re-Trade Project’s traders, Wilson from Walmer Township, is sorting through his collected items. Photo:SUPPLIED

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Port Elizabeth - The key to clean living and helping the growing number of hungry people in the Nelson Mandela Bay may be located just around the corner – in Walmer Heights, to be exact.

The Re-Trade Project, a community-based recycling and social empowerment project, has combined their compassion with a sense of responsibility to provide the less fortunate residents of Walmer an opportunity to care for the environment while gaining access to food and basic essentials at the same time.

The Re-Trade group believes that dignity and respect can be restored if an individual can exchange goods rather than one hand constantly giving and the other taking.

When the initiative started, it was running only on donations from the local community.

Its intention was to promote the idea that bartering is not dead but fully alive and capable of restoring dignity, promoting a good work ethic and helping others with a hand-up in life rather than a handout.

Maria Grewar, the founder of the Re-Trade Project, said, “We have many traders who see trading as an entrepreneurial opportunity to provide for their families.”

Anyone can become a trader by collecting recyclable items, including tins, plastic bottles, cardboard, paper and glass, and exchanging it for food, toiletries, blankets and clothing.

“It was clear that the most accessible commodity that all people have access to is rubbish or waste. Our homes and communities produce waste which can be recycled.”

The initiative only provides these items in exchange for recyclable material and not money. This way, traders get what they need and not access to things like drugs or alcohol.

Added to that, Grewar said the initiative also gave them the perfect opportunity to educate the local community about rubbish and recycling.

Each trader’s collected items, which must be clean and separated, is given a credit value which can be exchanged at the on-site trading store. “Our store assistants will help individuals ‘purchase goods’ in the Re-Trade Store.”

The store is open to traders on Friday mornings between 9am and 11am and is located in Newcombe Avenue, Walmer Heights.

For more info visit The Re-Trade Project Facebook page.

Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  environment  |  recycling  |  good news

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