The Zero Waste Schools Project is designed to enable schools to move towards a zero-waste culture, save money and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill. The project introduces a designed system for schools to be able to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill, and to entrench a recycling and waste-reduction mindset into the school curriculum. In the project’s first pilot, run at a high school in Bellville, the school managed to reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill by over 60% within the first three months of the pilot project, which launched in July 2019. It also saved around R36 000 per annum in waste removal fees and is earning the school a rebate of around R1 500 per month in recycling buy-back.
Landfills in our city are reaching capacity and urgent behavioural change is needed to reduce the amount of waste generated in our schools, but also in our communities in general. Education is the starting point to achieve this systemic change. This project enables schools to reinforce the importance of changing a community’s waste habits. By educating learners and educators, it becomes possible to entrench a system that will begin to change mindsets about recycling and waste reduction – and by extension, this education will be taken into the broader community, in learners’ homes.
It takes a village to improve our environment, and starting at schools is an effective place to begin. The project was delivered as a collaboration between project partners in the private and the public sector, and is an example of innovative thinking and co-creation of solutions to society’s most pressing issues.
Thank you to Hilary Alexander for submitting this Good Hood Story.
For more info:
City of Cape Town
The Greater Tygerberg Partnership, City of Cape Town, DF Malan High School, Waste-Ed Waste Education Consultancy, Plant The Seed Sustainability Education Consultancy.