The first recycling hub in town, offering a central point where residents can drop off a variety of recyclables as well as correctly dispose of other items, was launched in Windhoek towards the end of 2017. The Dagbreek School for the Intellectually Impaired, winner of the Recycle Namibia Forum’s (RNF) Annual Schools Recycling Competition over the past few years, was the first choice for the RNF as a “one stop” collection point in Windhoek.
According to Anita Witt, RNF Coordinator, the enthusiasm and commitment displayed by the school – both from the learners as well as teachers and the school principal, made this an obvious choice to expand recycling efforts and awareness. Witt: “The school and its learners are also very involved with, and are supported in their efforts by their local communities, with regular clean-ups hosted in the suburbs surrounding the school. It has also become evident that residents of Windhoek are keen to do the right thing - thus offering a one-stop solution for a variety of items at Dagbreek School will be well received by residents in the Klein Windhoek / Avis and Ludwigsdorf areas.”
Apart from the usual recyclables such as paper, plastic, glass and cans, Witt says Dagbreek School now offers collection points for e-waste, as well as used household batteries. It is envisaged to expand the project with the implementation of a collection point for used fluorescent light bulbs during the course of 2018.
Philip Barnard, Financial Manager at Scrap Salvage Namibia: “Scrap Salvage wants to assist all companies with a cleaner and brighter Namibia. We have committed to assisting Dagbreek School with their Go Green policies, by donating a skip to the school. All proceeds of the e-waste will be donated back to the School to show our support with cleaning up Namibia.”
The household battery collection bin was sponsored by Varta Consumer Batteries Namibia, and to this end Harald Bartsch from Varta indicated that the company decided to also place a bin at Dagbreek School. Bartsch: “We would like to see this school as a strategic partner for us and the RNF, as they are very well known for their environmental efforts. Dagbreek School is willing to contribute towards the protection of our environment and nature and we absolutely love this positive attitude. Their hearts are in the right place and we want to support that.”
Witt says Dagbreek School has made quite an impact with their eco-friendly / green activities and initiatives, which include reusing recyclable items in their arts, crafts and woodwork projects, as well as gardening, composting, farming earthworms and lately aquaponics. The learners through these initiatives benefit as it also involves training that would open doors for future job opportunities. Principal of Dagbreek School, Paul du Plessis: “The school aims to be an example and to involve the entire public into eco-friendly activities that can benefit our country. We are grateful to the RNF and its members, who have made the provision of the various collection bins available as well as ensuring that the recyclables and hazardous waste are properly taken care of.”
Residents are reminded that all electrical appliances, including household items such as kettles, washing machines, fridges etc. all resort under e-waste and can be deposited at skip at Dagbreek. Other partners in the project include Rent-A-Drum with the schools recycling project (collection and weighing of the recyclables) and the City of Windhoek’s Waste Management Division, with assisting in disposing of the used batteries at the hazardous waste section at Kupferberg landfill.
Estelle Hein, Public Participation Officer at the Solid Waste Division of the City of Windhoek indicated that providing a central point for the collection of recyclables plus other waste, will be of benefit to residents, as they then do not need to drive to the landfill. Hein: "We are working towards zero waste to landfill, thus providing an opportunity to responsibly dispose of products which may be harmful to the environment, will contribute greatly to our efforts".