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School garden sustaining learners

Written by Allison Cooper

Phelang School for Learners with Special Educational Needs is now able to recycle food waste at the school’s onsite garden, thanks to a donation of 10 composters, hand garden tools, fruit trees and seedlings from Mpact Plastic Containers and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality (EMM).Learners at the Phelang School for Learners with Special Educational Needs will now be producing their own compost, thanks to Mpact Plastic Containers and the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Municipality.

Based in KwaThema, Eku- rhuleni, the school is well-known for its food garden that’s managed by learners, with help from educators.

The donation aims to encourage the school’s existing value of agriculture and enable it to generate its own compost to fertilise its food garden’s soil.

Managing director of Mpact Plastic Containers Loutjie De Jongh says the company has joined the campaign to help address the country’s challenge of a shortage of landfill space. “We believe this can be achieved if we recycle organic waste, by creating compost.”

Ekurhuleni MMC for Environmental Resource and Waste Management Makhosazana Mabaso says the initiative is sustainable and will help uplift the community from poverty.

“Encouraging residents to produce compost from some of their organic waste will also encourage them to start gardens and produce their own fruits and vegetables. This will also ensure our people are eating healthily and have control of what goes into their own food,” she says.

School principal Tshepo Ledwaba says the donation will help expand and improve the school’s gardening project. 

“Gardening is one of the skills we offer our learners. The donation will enable them to learn new and modern ways of taking care of their gardens and reusing recyclable material. They will also learn the importance of recycling,” he says.

The Mpact composters will speed up the process of breaking down organic waste, such as vegetable peels, garden clippings and leaves, into compost.

“This donation gives us the chance to envision a positive future for our learners… This partnership will certainly bare fruits of success,” says Ledwaba.

“The programme will entrench the culture of reduce, reuse and recycle in young minds, which will become sustainable practices in our communities and save our environment for the next generations to enjoy,” adds Mabaso.

Mpact Recycling also runs the Ronnie Recycler schools and communities programme, in which paper banks are placed at schools to collect and contain paper waste for recycling. 

For more information about Mpact’s composters and the Ronnie Recycler schools and communities programme, visit www.mpcsa.co.za.