South Africa’s “trash for cash” scheme

by | May 24, 2021

I recently read this article and thought it was such a brilliant concept to help preserve the planet and poor communities simultaneously. I am sharing it with the Microgarden community in the hope that it will inspire people and provoke thought for more charities to incorporate.

‘Love Our City Klean’ is a waste management company who aims to create an integrated waste management plan in the inner city whilst creating jobs,providing education, and zero-waste to landfill in Johannesburg by 2025.

This South African charity gave hundreds of volunteers the chance to collect and exchange recyclable rubbish for digital currency. The recyclers can use this digital currency at a weekly “Swap Shop” to buy essential groceries like beans, soups and rice. For many, the scheme was a vital lifeline throughout the Covid-19 lockdown where 3 million South Africans lost their jobs and 1-in-5 were going hungry.

One of the ladies who took part in this initiative to clear polluted cities and recycle waste material stated “I never imagined cardboard boxes, cans and plastic bottles would save my five children from hunger.” – Mimi Ngalula

Charities, businesses and the government all launched feeding schemes, soup kitchens, community gardens and food voucher handouts to help feed the millions impacted due to Covid-19. But ‘Love Our City Klean’, found a sustainable solution allowing people to receive food in a way that also empowered them. The organisation indicates that one bag of recyclable materials equals one point, and most recyclers gather an estimate of 35 points a week, which gets them a bag full of essential goods.

An article on this NPO, mentioned that a striking comment was heard by a mother in the line waiting to exchange waste for food saying; “I am not sure if we would be alive without this and look how clean our streets are!”

These are the types of earth conscious initiatives we need and this is the news that makes me happy and that I love to share. 

Reduce your plastic waste by purchasing sustainable products. Conscious Consumerism here.

You can check out there Facebook here:

In love and encouragement to preserve our planet earth and help the communities around us,

Kerry Engelen

Reduce | Reuse | Recycle | Repurpose

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