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Teach children how to recycle

Recycling’s ‘three Rs’ - reduce, reuse and recycle - are very useful for managing the waste we produce and reducing its impact on communities.

Piles of rubbish in streets, parks and fields are common in South Africa. Litter not only spoils otherwise beautiful areas, it also causes water and soil pollution, and poses a health risk. It is therefore important to teach children how to produce less waste and how to recycle.

According to the Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africans can find ways to reuse old and broken items. For example, old jars can be used to store items.

The department explained that recycling is a process of transforming rubbish into a raw material that can be shaped into a new item. It is important for communities to buy items that can be recycled such as glass, plastic and paper.

Teachers have a vital role to play in educating children about recycling. Through recycling programmes at schools, children can be taught how to manage waste responsibly from a young age.

How to set up a recycling programme in your school

  • The first step of setting up the programme is to appoint a recycling committee.
  • The second step is to find out how much waste the school is throwing away and the type of waste produced. Collect waste and separate it into the various types, then work out the weight of the waste produced a month.
  • Third step is to identify waste to be recycled and decide which types of waste the school will focus on. Contact recycling companies in the area to make arrangements for the companies to collect the waste regularly.
  • Fourth step is to mark the different types of waste and assign people to various roles, such as collecting rubbish or separating waste.
  • Fifth step is to start your programme and make sure that everyone in the school knows about it so that they can recycle too.