An empty cooldrink can or milk bottle has an entire new meaning for a local community in Zwide, Port Elizabeth.
Pre-schoolers and parents from Qhamani Pre-School on [Tuesday, 5 November] learnt all about turning waste into meaningful resources.
Isuzu Motors South Africa (Isuzu) has adopted the pre-school, which is situated a few kilometres away from the Struandale assembly plant, and provides schooling to over 70 children from ages 2 to 6 years who live in Zwide and surrounding areas.
Isuzu's Environmental Manager, Ncedisa Mzuzu, said the school was introduced to the benefits of using waste as a resource in order to generate additional income.
"As a coastal city, bulk waste which is not correctly managed in the different areas, potentially end up in the ocean. We need to manage the issue of pollution from source and that is why this initiative is so important to reach the community at grassroots level. By teaching the children to recycle, they will not only influence the way their parents behave, but also future generations to come," said Mzuzu.
Partnering with local recycling business, The Waste Trade Company, Isuzu donated two bakkie-loads of waste that employees from the Struandale plant collected from their homes to boost the volumes at the school's drop-off point. The Waste Trade company will buy the recyclable waste from the school and continue to do so on a regular basis.
Isuzu donated recycling bins for use by the school for waste separation while The Waste Trade Company put up a puppet show with their puppet, Nondalo, who taught the children, parents and teachers about recycling.
The waste commodities are weighed per kilo and the money generated from the waste will be paid directly to Qamani Pre-School. The Waste Trade Company's School Project Coordinator, Emmy Nxayeka, said they would be emptying the waste bins on a regularly.
"We will be emptying these recycling bins on a regular basis and other corporate companies are welcome to donate their bulk waste, which we will collect, for the benefit of the school to receive a rebate in cash that will be paid into the school's account," said Nxayeka.
Qhamani Pre-School Principal Nonzame Mbana said she was excited about the recycling programme at the school. "It has great potential, because fundraising is very difficult. This way we can be self-supporting, and the parents have been great with sending a lot of plastic bottles and glass bottles to school," said Mbana.
Chairperson of the school's governing body, Thembeka Gidimi, said as a parent of the school she was very appreciative of the support received from Isuzu in starting up this recycling initiative at the school.
The long-term vision for Qhamani Pre-School is to start a recycling swop shop similar to those established in Walmer, Colchester and Seaview where community members can swap recyclables for food and clothing.