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October 2014 - Recycling for SA transforms Gauteng into cleaner, healthier and happier place

Organisations and individuals with a commitment to improve education, conserve the environment and advance performing arts joined the Recycling for South Africa clean-up and recycling movement from 01 to 19 September 2014 to transform Orange Farm, Soshanguve and Soweto into a cleaner healthier and happier place.

The South African metal packaging industry, including Collect-a-Can, Nampak Bevcan, Nampak DivFood and Hulamin spearheaded the initiative to make a sustainable and significant impact in conserving the environment by safeguarding our country for future generations with the Recycling for South Africa campaign.

The campaign was broken down into three week themes, namely ‘Recycling for Performing Arts’, ‘Recycling for Education’ and ‘Recycling for our Environment’ each of which contributed to the ultimate goal of ‘Recycling for South Africa’.

“It is critical to create a generation that understands the importance of waste management and recycling,” says Zimasa Velaphi, marketing and public relations manager at Collect-a-Can. “Recycling for South Africa encourages those that are unemployed, to see waste recovery and recycling as an opportunity to earn an income until they can find permanent employment or to supplement low income.”

Each week the campaign visited a different community where pop-up buy-back stations encouraged everybody to collect recyclable waste and sell it to the recyclers for cash. The week’s recycling and clean-up drive then culminated in a community clean-up where members of the community and organisations in the area joined forces to clean the area around the buy-back centres.

Recycling for South Africa is in its first year and already managed to collect nearly 3 000 kg of cans for recycling.

The money generated from all the cans collected during the Recycling for South Africa campaign will contribute to a donation to three charities that fall within each week’s theme. The selected charities include Real Actions Pantsula, Hope Warriors Children’s Charity and the CLAW Community Garden project.

This campaign reached its peak on Recycling Day, 19 September 2014 where Sowetans gathered to clean the environment, while they were taught about the value of recycling metal packaging and the benefits that a clean environment can have on the community.

“There is a natural fit between environmental conservation and the metals packaging industry,” says Alexandra Bouwer, marketing manager for Nampak Bevcan's CAN DO! brand. “Both aluminium and steel packaging are infinitely and 100% recyclable, greatly contributing to reducing South Africa’s carbon footprint and saving our natural resources.”

Miss Earth South Africa 2014, Ilzé Saunders, also joined the Soweto clean-up for positive change and encouraged the community to recycle for a better tomorrow. “It is our responsibility to realise the importance of adapting to an environmentally friendly lifestyle. We need to make the right choices for our health and practise to re-use, reduce and recycle,” she encouraged.

The Recycling for South Africa team ensured that participants had a great time while cleaning the environment at the community clean-ups with performances by the likes of Arthur Mafokate, Chomee and DJ AJ.

“This initiative helped to raise awareness about keeping the environment clean, but also about the entrepreneurship opportunities associated with recycling cans,” says Madeline Evert, representative of the Green Campus Initiative from Northern West University Vaal Triangle Campus at the clean-up in Orange Farm. “We are proud to have been part of this movement to bring about sustainable change.”

The Recycling for South Africa team looks forward to continue working in communities to keep the environment clean while educating individuals on the importance of recycling.

Caption: Recycling for South Africa visited Orange Farm on 05 September 2014 at the Chris Hani Sports Complex for a clean-up to educate the community about the importance of a clean environment and the benefits of recycling cans. Photo by: Debbie Yazbek

Caption: The second week of the campaign focused on education, benefitting Hope Warriors Children’s Charity, a safe haven where children receive help with their homework in Soshanguve. Photo by: Debbie Yazbek

Caption: Miss Earth SA, Ilzé Saunders joined the community clean on Recycling Day, 19 September 2014 at Nkanyezi Recreational Sports Center in Soweto. Likeminded organisations and individuals including Standard Chartered Bank representatives joined the community clean-ups at selected communities. Photo By: Debbie Yazbek

Recycling for South Africa is supported by the following key event sponsors

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