With National Recycling Week celebrated from 14 to 19 September, and a call from the recycling industry to South Africans of all ages and backgrounds to take part in various clean-up and recycling activities in this time, it was only apt that the Overstrand used the opportunity to showcase its Recycling Swop Shops. On Wednesday, 16 September 2015 the Overstrand Municipality hosted a ‘Recycle Swop Shop Awareness Day’ at the Stanford Community Hall in Stanford. The event was well attended by municipal and government officials, industry role players, volunteers and interested members of the community.
There are a number of Recycle Swop Shops that operate in previously disadvantaged areas of the Overstrand region that has become of great value to their respective communities. These Recycling Swop Shops have a multi-functional capacity, namely:
• As an educational tool it is used to inform children that waste has a monetary value and with a bit of effort recycling can improve their economic circumstances.
• It teaches our youth important business principles and the art of bartering.
• It assists the Municipality in keeping the streets and environment clean.
• It plays a significant role with the diversion from landfill given that the cost of cells at the landfill is becoming progressively more expensive.
The swop shops work on a points basis where children are encouraged to collect recyclable material such as bottles, cans, paper etc and on delivery to the swop shops they receive points that they can use towards the purchase of items of their choice. Items to choose from can include household cleaning goods, non-perishable foods, toiletries, stationery and even toys.
The Executive Mayor, Nicolette Botha-Guthrie, paid a special tribute to the volunteers of the Recycling Swop Shops. “Your hard work in running and keeping these outlets operating smoothly is greatly appreciated. The Municipality recognises the contribution and significant role you play through these efforts in providing sustainable services to your community. We are furthermore appreciative that these recycling activities are also doing much in the quest to once again claim the coveted status of being the country’s ‘Greenest Municipality’, said the Mayor.
A further challenge was posed to attendees, and the greater public, in attaining this goal when the Mayor professed that hence forth she would be vigorously spearheading a mission to make the Overstrand a plastic bag free environment. “Just yesterday I proudly showed my staff the beautiful bags made from recycled material that I recently purchased and would be using for my shopping from now on. I urged them to follow my example and only half-jokingly told them that I would fine them if I ever saw them walking around with plastic shopping bags,” stated the Mayor.
The Mayor further heaped praise upon the media for using its platforms to create awareness on programmes and projects of this nature. To this end, Botha-Guthrie declared, “The more we can educate our communities on the subject, the greater the chance of developing responsible and mindful citizens who all play a part in reducing our waste levels through recycling. In this way we can ultimately ensure a sustainable and pollution free environment for generations to come.”