Turning the tide on trash!!!

OCTOBER 7, 2015

In celebration of recycle SA week and International Coastal Cleanup Day, the Sundays river community, GMSA and The Waste Trade Company joined forces to clean up Sundays River on Saturday the 19th of September. Two hundred and fifty participants removed 640 kg of litter from the riverbanks and surrounding dunes.

The Trash Bash was established ten years ago by the late Bob Richards, a passionate conservationist. Recently is was changed to align with International Coastal Cleanup day, which follows the same principles - to remove debris from all bodies of water, to raise awareness about the dangers of polluting the river and to make a positive change by promoting water pollution prevention worldwide.

According to Ocean Conservancy, ninety one countries participated in 2014, with a total headcount of 650 000. "In addition to celebrating International Coastal Cleanup Day, this event has also become an annual tradition for the learners from Colchester Primary," Nick-Neil Boss, event coordinator.

This year, the event opened with an environmental talk given by Emmy Nxayeka, the schools project coordinator from The Waste Trade Company.

Thereafter everyone lined up for their boat ride, armed with their bags and protective gloves. Twelve boats, sponsored by the local community, would drop their passengers off along the riverbanks to clean up. The day ended with a lucky draw for the Colchester Primary learners as well as a sponsored lunch.

Each child received a goody bag with sponsored goodies for their attendance and efforts. "In order to drive environmental change we need to start by educating our youth," Kay Hardy, general manager of The Waste Trade Company.

Agnus Clark, plant engineering and safety manager GMSA, was spotted handing out bags and gloves to all participants. GMSA celebrated their sixth year of involvement at the Trash Bash this year.

“Our participation in International Coastal Clean-up Day is part of the company’s comprehensive environmental management programme and helps create awareness about sustainability. Waste reduction and recycling are key elements in the company’s environmental management programme, and events such as the Trash Bash help to raise awareness among employees and in the community,” Gishma Johnson, corporate communications manager, GMSA.

The fruits of the annual trash bash can be seen in the actions of the local community members who host their own cleanups on a regular basis. As a result thereof the amount of litter collected from the river has reduced by roughly fifty percent since last year.

Plastic, polystyrene, glass, and other types of waste were removed from the river.

"Plastic presents a real danger to the ecosystems as it is not biodegradable and can survive up to four hundred and fifty years in the rivers and ocean," says Howard Bulkin, owner of The Waste Trade Company.

The bags of collected debris were taken back to The Waste Trade Company's depot in deal party for further separation and recycling "People do not have to wait for Coastal Cleanup Day to recycle or to keep the environment clean, they can do it any time and do it again and again and again…" Emmy Nxayeka, schools project coordinator, The Waste Trade Company.

We would like to congratulate the following top ten recycling schools for September 2015:

Kabega Primary

Seaview Buyback Centre

Sinako Pre School

Merryvale Primary

Ncedo High

Getrude Hlophe Primary

BJ Mnyanda Primary

Paterson High

Reubin Berin Special School

Erica Primary