A waste management company says they are working with the residents of Langa to encourage recycling and prevent illegal dumping.
Polyco’s Pack-ching project aims to teach the community about waste management and keeping their environment clean.
The company said it wanted people to realise the value in recycling to improve their lives as they can earn some cash from it.
It has a trailer travelling between communities which allows people to bring their recyclable waste in exchange for money which is loaded onto their personal membership cards.
Chief executive officer of Polyco, Mandy Naude said she is hoping this pilot project will change the face of townships. She said the idea behind the project is to tap into a new market of recycling in order to decrease the amount of waste entering landfills. “What we have realised is that we need to educate people about recycling. We have launched that idea here in Langa. It is a pilot project that we hope will go far. We will also be uplifting the communities in the areas in which we work. So far we have met nine schools of Langa. We aim to educate the children so that they can also educate their parents. We incentivise people for what they bring to us,” she told Vukani.
Community members are encouraged to bring bags of recyclable packaging material such as plastic, paper, tin and glass to Packa-ching.
“If we can succeed to teach young children, we will grow together. The good thing about the project is that anybody can take part. You become a member and we load your money to the card that you can use anywhere,” she said.
Ms Naude said there is a lot that communities need to know about recycling.
She said only seven percent of people recycle. “People need to be taught about recycling. We are doing that now. We are saying to people clean your area and get money. We are saying your environment must be clean,” she said.
Project co-ordinator Brooke Kuhne said the project would address many of the current challenges related to recycling. She said the project can be a solution to the high rate of unemployment.
She was happy to see some people already supporting the project.
“We have seen people carrying aluminium cans, paper, plastic and other materials,” she said.
Resident Nandipha Masina said the project has helped her to buy food.
“It is amazing how I came here. At first I was not sure what to bring and not to bring. That made me lose out because I got a little amount of money. But now I know what to bring. I am happy because I am not working with five children. We can now have something decent through recycling,” she said.
She said she was happy because people would learn about the importance of living in a clean environment.