OK Oakdale is Bellville’s recycling champion

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Jun 28, 2021



Bellville has a new business recycling champion. Congratulations to OK Foods Oakdale who rose to the challenge and committed to recycling as much of their business waste as possible, taking the 2021 crown as the Bellville Business Recycling Champion. In all, their efforts have diverted 1 224 bags of waste from landfill. Their championship status comes out of the Bellville Business Recycling Challenge, hosted by the Greater Tygerberg Partnership (GTP), Voortrekker Road Corridor Improvement District and social development partners, MES. Runners up in the challenge are The Butcher Shoppe, who recycled 310 bags, and Marshall Betting, who recycled 256 bags.

Waste collectors Mark le Roux and Cheswon Booyson, recycled the most waste on behalf of businesses in Bellville, removing the waste to buy-back centres. They both earned a trophy to show their achievement as Most Dedicated Waste Collector throughout the challenge.

In all, the 75 participating Bellville businesses recycled over 9 438 kgs of waste in 2 636 bags. Paper and cardboard are most frequently recycled – 78% percent of the total collected.

GTP CEO, Warren Hewitt said: “While this is an immense achievement that must be applauded, these statistics offer an insight into how much waste is generated each month. Through this and other projects, such as our Zero Waste Schools project, the GTP is driving a zero-waste mindset in Bellville. Landfills are at capacity and waste is the next environmental crisis on our doorsteps. It’s up to everyone to reconsider how much waste they generate. But more importantly, it’s critical to change behaviours around creating waste at all.”

William Koopman, Receiving Manager at OK Oakdale said: “This is a fantastic project. We saw our participation as a great opportunity to create jobs. We will definitely take part again.”

Cheswon Booysen, who lives in a shelter near Paint City in Bellville, is one of the winning trolley operators. He said: “This project helps to build self-esteem, even if you don’t have much in the way of material things. It helps to earn money and get off the street. It’s not easy, but the work makes me feel good. I definitely want to go further and to encourage more businesses to sign up. Anyone is welcome.”

Booysen’s trolley partner, Mark le Roux, who resides at The Haven shelter in Bellville, said: “The project has helped me to save some money, and I also enjoy the fact that I can contribute to cleaning up the environment.”

The challenge, which ran from 1 March to 21 June, encouraged businesses to sign up to the award-winning Bellville Trolley & Recycling project. The project matches informal waste collectors with local businesses to collect recyclable waste and return it to a local buy-back centre, rather than letting it languish in landfills – which are at capacity in Cape Town. The waste collectors are able to earn a small income from their efforts, helping them to build a more dignified life. The waste collectors are required to go through a skills development and life skills training course in order to qualify for the programme. Once they graduate from the programme, the waste collectors are allocated a trolley and matched with local businesses.

Between them, Mark, Cheswon and their six other fellow trolley operators were able to earn R8 116.70 in stipends from the buy-back centres.

The challenge is now closed, but businesses can still sign up to the programme. Email to register.