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30 Sep 2011

New Recycling Program Rewards Impoverished People in Hout Bay

New Recycling Program Rewards Impoverished People in Hout Bay

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Getting impoverished people excited about the environment isn’t always easy. When your main concern in life is putting a meal on the table every day and generally keeping your head above water, worrying about things like pollution is often a luxury you can’t afford to waste time on.

A new social enterprise called TrashBack, which was launched in South Africa recently, hopes to change this by incentivizing recycling in disadvantaged communities and allowing people to convert what was previously considered worthless garbage into valuable rewards. A pilot project was initiated on the 3rd of September in Hout Bay near Cape Town as a collaboration between a non-governmental organization and a local recycling depot.

TrashBack works by rewarding garbage collectors for their efforts. Each time a participant delivers a load of recyclable trash to the depot, they are credited with a certain number of points. At the end of a given collection period, the points are tallied up and the community members who have accumulated the most points by collecting the most rubbish receive a reward.

To keep those who do not win a reward interested, they are allowed to carry their points over to the subsequent collection period whereas the top recyclers start again with zero points. Rewards include food, clothes, school textbooks, shopping and travel vouchers, mobile phone airtime and stationary.

The organizers have reported a steady flow of waste being delivered to the recycling depot since the project started, indicating that the community is embracing the initiative. The participants include many school children. On September 17, which was the first reward day, the top 50 garbage recyclers were rewarded. In the future, reward days will happen on a weekly basis.

The benefits of TrashBack include:

• challenging the widespread apathy about pollution and making recycling a desirable activity in local communities;

• empowering poor communities to manage and recycle their own waste;

• contributing to social upliftment through the creation of formal and informal jobs;

• less garbage being sent to landfills and more being recycled; and

• helping to instil pride, dignity and a sense of place in a cleaner community.

I think this is a great initiative and hope it takes off here and elsewhere. In the first month, 370 registered participants of the pilot project collected over three tons of recyclable garbage and earned 100 rewards in the process – a promising start in anyone’s book.

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29 Sep 2011

The latest shark attack happened in Hout Bay according to The Dailymail

29 Sep 2011

Hout Bay watch this space!

28 Sep 2011

Maybe deadmau5 will visit Hout Bay and remix a Soap Girls track…maybe not!

Wow this is exciting! I hope deadmau5 will visit Hout Bay when he comes to South Africa in December.

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28 Sep 2011

Will this ever happen in Hout Bay or Llandudno?

Footage of todays shark attack in Fish Hoek. Might this ever happen Hout Bay? Give comments please!

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