Credit to Bloemfontein Courant 9 June 2016
Waste can now bring home some money to put bread on the table. This is thanks to a dynamic community project, the Moola for Waste Community Recycling Centre.
The Thabo Community Action Trust has injected about R600 000 into the centre and sees many families in the Botshabelo area being able to provide for their families.
Since the opening of the centre in February 2016, it has been making a great difference in the community. It also prides itself as being the only recycling centre in the Bloemfontein area that accepts glass. The centre consists of a recycling buy-back centre and a food shop, where the community exchanges recyclable waste for food.
General Manager of Thabo Community Action Trust, Mariëtte Barnard, explains that the centre also has a large vegetable garden to supply fresh vegetables to the shop on a daily basis.
“Currently we have about 500 people registered on our system and everything is done on the computer and accounts are opened for people when they bring in recyclable goods for the first time. All waste is accepted and we take all things that we can sell. About 80% of items get recycled to other businesses, while the glass bottles are sent back to the manufacturers of the certain brands,” she says.
The centre is self-sufficient and most of their stock is bought from local stores, to which Barnard says it is a way to support local businesses in the area.
Moola for Waste is located in Section K in Botshabelo and so far, since it opened, it has taken 4 tons of regular waste and distributed food worth R35 000.
“The aim of the programme is three-fold, to help individuals by providing their basic needs, to clean up the community and to teach environmental awareness, value and trading skills,” she says.
One community member who is greatly thankful for the centre is 87-year-old Mamoorosi Lithuli from F-Section: “With this project I feel happy that I can go look for waste to bring here in exchange for some food – samp, mealie meal and small groceries. This centre helps me out a great deal indeed. Sometimes that small bag of mealie meal really goes a long way.”
Barnard adds that they plan to have training during the school holidays, especially for primary school learners to teach them about recycling and keeping the environment clean.
Currently, the centre is operated by five volunteers, which get a stipend from the Thabo Community Action Trust monthly. – Thandi Xaba