Namibian schools – our own recycling heroes

In celebration of the annual Global Recycling Day on 18 March 2020, with the theme #Recycling Heroes 2020 for this year, the Recycle Namibia Forum (RNF) decided to highlight and award its top performing schools in the annual Schools Recycling Competition (SRC) with the same accolade – namely that of being Namibia’s own recycling heroes.

The results of the 2019/20 SRC indeed give good reason for celebration – with a total of 179 632 tons collected by the participating schools this year, compared to 132 tons last year. It comes as no surprise that paper made up the majority of the volume – given the nature of school work - followed by glass, cans and then plastic. RNF Coordinator, Anita Witt: “The past year also saw some interesting and newsworthy developments, notably the addition of schools outside of Windhoek and the coast – these being two schools in Oranjemund and one in Rundu, which brings the total participating schools to 47. Also, Dagbreek School in Windhoek opened a 24-hour drive through/drop off facility at their premises, which makes it easily accessible to the residents in the area after hours and over weekends.”

The sizes of the schools, according to Witt seem to play a small role in their success, as the number of learners range from 1200 (David Bezuidenhout Secondary School) down to only 37 leaners at the Child Intervention and Disability Support (CIDS) centre – and still they manage to collect and divert a considerable volume from being sent to landfill. Witt: “It is clear that the enthusiasm and input of a teacher or principal to drive and keep recycling active contributes greatly to a school’s success. It is also evident that amongst the winning schools, involvement and interaction with the learners’ families and the surrounding communities, play a significant role”.

With the RNF’s annual SRC now in its 10th year, the ongoing commitment and support from RNF members that sponsor and support the SRC has contributed greatly to its continued growth and success. Namibia Breweries Limited (NBL) – a subsidiary of the Ohlthaver & List (O&L) Group - remains the sponsor of the N$10 000 cash prize for the winning school, followed by prize monies of N$5 000 sponsored by Collect-a-Can for the runner up, N$2 500 sponsored by Plastic Packaging for 3rd place and with the 4th and 5th places receiving N$2 000 and N$1 000 respectively, courtesy of RNF partner, Rent-A-Drum. RNF member BEE Biofuel has sponsored hand sanitizer, surface sanitizer and antibacterial hand soap to each of the winning schools, which will be most welcome to ensure that the schools adhere to the sanitation requirements upon return of the learners in August.

Moreson Special School walked away as winners for the second consecutive year, increasing their volume from 30 to 38 tons in the current year. In second place is Dagbreek School with 32 tons, followed by David Bezuidenhout High School in third place with 13 tons. In 4th and 5th place with 12 and 7 tons respectively are DHPS and CIDS.

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