Date: 05 April 2016
Dagbreek – School for the Intellectually Impaired not only walked away as the overall winner of the annual 2015/16 ‘Schools Recycling Competition’, but also set the breaking record of collecting 179 kg per learner which brought the school’s total collection of waste to 20 tons. This year’s results were exceptional and doubled in comparison to last year’s winning school. Dagbreek walked away with a N$10 000.00 cash prize sponsored by Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List Group. With great pride and excitement, RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt reiterated: “What an example Dagbreek has set amongst the schools in our country – these children went the extra mile and illustrated that anyone can make a difference, irrespective of circumstances, with a lot of passion and a little bit of support.”
Witt further emphasized that since the inception of the Schools Recycling Competition more than 750 tons of sorted recyclables have been diverted from local landfill. Witt: “This highlights the efforts and the value of the recycling competition, the keen participation of learners, parents and the school management to make a difference and it encourages the youth to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. However this reward stretches even further – the school reap the financial reward for its efforts and the environment is well-preserved.”
In second place with a cash prize of N$5000 sponsored by Collect-a-Can is Pro Ed Academy with a collection of 29,4 kg per learner (total volume of 9 tons), while All Nations Christian Primary School ended in third place with a total collection of 29,14 kg per learner – total volume 3 tons, and received a cash prize of N$2 500 sponsored by Plastic Packaging. Fourth and fifth spots were taken by Private School Swakopmund with a total volume of five tons (16,46 kg per learner) and Welwitschia Private School with 11,81 kg per learner – a total of 2,5 tons. They each walked away with a N$2000, 00 and N$1 000, 00 cash prize respectively, sponsored by Rent-A-Drum.
Delivering the keynote address at the prize-giving ceremony, committee member of the Namibian Environment & Wildlife Society (NEWS) and member of the RNF, John Pallett focused on how important it is to control waste and what difference it will make in preserving the environment and future of the country. Pallett: “We have to remember to be responsible. Each citizen has a role to play in preserving the environment and ensuring that it remains a safe place not only for us, but also for future generations. We all can be that difference by simply reducing the purchase of non-recyclables; reusing what we already have and can be re-used instead of trashing it in the garbage bin, and recycling every recyclable item we have in our homes.”
According to Witt, the Schools Recycling Competition started off with 10 schools in 2009. This figure rose to 26 schools in 2010, 41 in 2012 and during the past year, a total of 51 schools participated. Witt: “Over the past years, volumes have consistently grown, and whilst the average in 2009 was around 14 kg per learner collected, this continued an upward trend, with last year’s winner – All Nations Christian Primary School breaking all previous records with 75 kg per learner collected. More exciting news to support the growth of the competition is that our recycling stands – some of which hail from 2009 are being rebranded and renovated. To this end, FNB Namibia and Coca Cola’s stands have already been introduced to local schools, whilst we are currently the leading non-profit Forum coordinating recycling initiatives in Namibia. busy availing more stands sponsored by VIGO. We are most grateful to our members for their support in making the Schools Recycling Competition possible, and to give it support by making the stands visually appealing, thus encouraging recycling.”
The RNF, according to Witt, is also supporting the City of Windhoek’s water savings campaign. “Also, given the current precarious water situation in Windhoek, the RNF is encouraging all schools working with the RNF, to play their part in saving water. We would like to urge all schools to participate – because the 3 R’s of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle does not only start and end with plastic, glass and paper, but a precious resource such as water as well,” Witt concluded.