Justice and Peace along with CYNESA and City of Joburg, Department of Environmental Affairs, PIKITUP and Gauteng Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (GDARD) organised for the first Global Recycling Day as is an initiative of the Bureau of International Recycling (BIR) which is part of the global federation in the recycling sector, representing the interests of the global industry.
On 18 March 2018 marked as the 70th anniversary of BIR. The partners organised for the day to be on Friday, 16 March 2018 and celebrated in Orange Farm due to the community’s existing recycling initiatives with the parish St Charles Lwanga surrounded by illegal dumping and many projects within ward 5. The build up towards the activation begun with the task team meeting frequently and a door-door campaign in the community for two days before the event, with Itsoseng Women’s Projects and Siyaphumelela the two buy-back centres based in Orange Farm in anticipation to pull the community to be fully part of it and maintain the cleaned spots.
The day was sure an action filled one, with an impact reach among the young construction workers who were facing a labour strike which affected the support of the construction company that was suppose to assist with the TLB. Speeches said by three speakers was short but precise to the reason of cleaning our community, partner’s setup their stalls which displayed vegetables grown from one of the project sites, products produced from recycled material, the recycling day offered methods in which different ways of reducing waste found in unoccupied spaces ending on our landfill sites can be seen as resource.
As motive to conserve our six primary resources (water, air, coal, oil, natural gas and minerals) the residents participated in this community cleanup and learned about separation at source, the clean-up of 5 illegal dump spots was done by about 35 people from each group. From the cleanup within the few hours we managed to collect recyclable material of cans, glass, paper and many plastics which were taken to the buy-back centres along with non-recyclable was collected by the PIKITUP truck on two loads to the landfill site.
Representatives from partner organisations collectively signed the Bureau Petition, to show action taken by South Africa in observing the initial Global Recycling Day.
The output from this particular action was from partner PetCo pledging to adopt a spot to keep it clean and another commitment from Soweto Environmental Forum taking a corner spot next to the church turn in to a park by the assistance of CYNESA and Justice and Peace. And the church was donated with tools that were used during the clean up from PIKITUP, by the next Monday the group of Justice and Peace and CYNESA were already back on the cleaned up spot to monitor the impact of the day.
Country Director, CYNESA South Africa.