There is value in rubbish. But many people don’t realise this, particularly in the townships.
However, Meals on Wheels in Gugulethu, in partnership with the City of Cape Town and Cape Nature are striving to turn this around and last week conducted a one-hour recycling workshop near Ramaphosa informal settlement.
More than 100 youth were part of the initiative on Friday June 21. It formed part of the school holiday programme spearheaded by Meals on Wheels and aimed at keeping the youth occupied and educated about critical issues.
The youngsters learned how to separate rubbish and the importance of recycling and looking after the environment. Meals on Wheels representative, Tankiso Lempe, said during the entire week they had had various activities for the children, all aimed at encouraging them to be critical thinkers and to always strive to make a difference in their communities.
He told Vukani that they had expected about 60 children but were surprised when scores more children had showed up and excitedly participated in the programme.
“We should work to transform our communities. We need to ingrain recycling in the minds of the youth. It is up to us to change how we see things,” he said.
“We need to equip the youth including their parents any knowledge about healthy lifestyle. We should our children the way. We need to make a recycling fashionable and have recycling companies in the township. Everything lies within our hands. This might a rubbish to but to someone else this is the way that brings food to the table and feeds his or her family.” Resident, Nokuthula Mwaba, said the workshop had changed her perceptions about waste-collectors.
Cape Nature’s Nokuthula Masiba, said recycling was essential if people want to leave this planet for our future generations and explained that, through recycling, new products could be made from the old products which are no longer of use to them. “We have been careless for so long. We need to change how we treat the earth and the environment we live in. But we also need to change how think about recycling and eliminate all the negative perceptions about it,” she said.