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Recycling unit gives Missionvale residents a hand up

Frank Goliath separates waste at THE Missionvale Care Centre’s recycling unit
KEEPING IT CLEAN: Frank Goliath separates waste at THE Missionvale Care Centre’s recycling unit
Image: SUPPLIED

With World Environment Day recently celebrated on June 5, Missionvale residents continue to gather recyclable materials and consider themselves to be environmental stewards.

Missionvale Care Centre, the non-profit organisation, established a recycling unit in 2021 for residents to exchange their waste for MCC bucks, which enables them to “buy” food, toiletries, or clothing at the centre.

The recycling unit operates twice a week, on Tuesdays and Thursdays, and offers employment to two permanent staff and six volunteers.

Volunteers are paid a monthly stipend and MCC bucks in exchange for their time.

More than 3,709 residents have grabbed the opportunity by the horns.

José Weijers, who leads the recycling unit, said it had been established with the goal of uplifting Missionvale residents by giving them a hand up and not a handout.

As these members earn their MCC bucks, they are cleaning their community and helping to reduce pollution.

During the first six weeks of the programme, the unit held a six-week education session to explain the process and emphasise the necessity of recycling.

“Community members collect the waste in the neighbourhood and bring it to the centre in return for MCC bucks.

“CTC Waste Management and Waste Trade Company collect the waste and pay us per kilogram of the waste commodities,” Weijers said.

Weijers added that the recycling unit was a necessary addition to the services already offered by the Missionvale Care Centre, as it introduced environmental awareness to the community.

Winston January, who volunteers at the recycling unit, said he had heard about the initiative while collecting a food parcel from the centre.

“I spoke to uncle Frank [Frank Goliath, recycling employee] who told me about the work they do, and that is how I got to volunteer here.

“The recycling job made a difference in my life because I was unemployed and unable to feed my family.

“Now I earn a small income and vouchers which I can exchange for food or clothes,” January said.

Community member Nontombi Mfundisi said: “We are able to keep our environment clean by doing this work.” 

Nozitha Moses, who regularly collects waste in the area, shared Mfundisi’s sentiments.

“We are unemployed, and we bring waste here to get something to eat for our children.

“At least we are able to buy food and toiletries with the MCC bucks.”

HeraldLIVE

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