Tafelberg School has embarked on an environmental journey that aims to save, sustain and reuse.
The Bothasig school, which teaches Grade 1 to Grade 12, has kicked off the year with a paper drive that has got pupils lining up in droves with their bags of paper waste.
Grade 3 teacher Kerri Oosterberg is heading the school’s environmental portfolio this year.
“Last month Mpact, a paper and packaging plastics group, visited the school with their mascot, Ronnie Recycler, who handed out green recycle bags.
“I decided to get the Grade 1s to Grade 6s to bring in a bag or more of newspaper, scrap paper, cardboard, boxes etc to school every Wednesday and so far it’s been going great,” said Ms Oosterberg.
The paper is put in an igloo at the school, which in the last month has collected nearly 800kg.
Ms Oosterberg is recording how many bags each class brings in, and at the end of the term, the class with the highest tally will be rewarded.
“We still have to decide what the prize will be.”
The paper bank is also generating money as Mpact is paying the school for its waste. We will use this money to buy resources for the school,” said Ms Oosterberg.
Last week, Tafelberg also received a glass bank from the Glass Recycling Company. It’s on the inside of the fence at the school’s clubhouse and Ms Oosterberg encourages the public to use it too.
“We hire out our hall and clubhouse and there are usually a lot of glass bottles left after functions. Now they can be deposited in the glass igloo.” The school is also growing a permaculture garden, from which principal Lionel Beneke hopes to donate produce to an old age home or the school’s caretakers. He praised Ms Oosterberg for her efforts.
“They say if you want to kill something, give it to someone who is not interested. Kerri is the best person for the job. She is doing a great job.”
Ward 5 councillor Helen Carstens said: “This is a very proactive initiative and it not only works on a financial level but it also brings awareness to recycling.”
Ms Carstens, who also has a community food garden at the Bothasig day hospital, said she wanted to see more food gardens in her ward, especially at schools.