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Another chance to clean up your ‘hood’

A recycling and clean-up programme in Delft has provided an income to 30 unemployed community members.

Africa’s Biggest Clean-Up, an initiative by the Shoprite Group, provided the opportunity for Hilton Davids to start an income-generating NGO, now called the Vlottenburg Community Organisation, which generates an income from rubbish.

“One sees waste in every open space in our community,” says Davids, founder of VCO.

“Even the vlei is strewn with everything from used nappies to old televisions.”

He recruited 30 unemployed volunteers in the area to collect recyclables in exchange for food parcels supplied by Shoprite.

These clean-up events take place on the last Saturday of each month.

A local recycling partner buys the plastic, glass, paper and cardboard collected and all funds raised are used to support the projects run by Davids and his team, according to Lunga Schoeman, CSI spokesperson for the Shoprite Group.

“Africa’s Biggest Clean-Up was an inspiration for the whole community and I am very heartened by the number of people who wanted to get involved in our regular clean-ups,” explains Davids.

Following these successes, Shoprite will again stage clean-up events across Africa on World Clean-Up Day on 15 September 2018.

The public is again urged to host or join their own community clean-ups.

“This global drive presents the perfect opportunity for people to get behind our initiative to act for change by cleaning their neighbourhoods and public spaces. Our aim is to start a movement by staging regular events and in this way initiate people into the culture of keeping our environment clean,” says Schoeman.

“Anyone can join or organise a clean-up using the digital platform www.actforchange.africa, developed by Shoprite in partnership with the volunteerism organisation, Brownie Points.

“The emphasis will again be on recycling, with clean-up organisers being urged to partner with local recyclers or waste management companies.

“There is value in waste, with recycling offering earning opportunities that can be exploited,” adds Schoeman. Cans fetch the highest price selling on average at R11/kg, with plastic, depending on the density, going for around R4/kg,” she says.

The initiative last year saw more than 12 000 volunteers taking part in 465 clean-up events in 12 countries over five days in July. A total of 26 000 bags of waste were collected.

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