Sunday, June 29, 2008

Schools tackle town’s litter

- Imke Maeyer -

Prince Albert Primêr and Hoërskool Zwartberg have joined forces to start what will hopefully be an ongoing process of picking up and sorting litter.

After some valuable lessons taught in play form at both schools by the Patchwork Theatre and a poster competition with the theme of recycling and not littering, the children got into the swing of thinking about our planet, and set forth with great enthusiasm on Friday, 6 June, to try and make a dent in the vast amounts of litter that decorate our town.

250 schoolchildren met at the VGK hall where they had a snack and were briefed on what to do. Our aim was not only to collect litter, but also to separate it.

We divided the children into four main groups; each allocated one area of town to clean up.

They set off with their teachers, a handful of parents and even a couple of volunteers from the community! Each group was accompanied by a bakkie on which to load the bags as they were brought in.
The children were fantastic; they managed to separate the litter with even the smallest participants (Wildekanisland Nursery School) almost getting it right. They spent just over one hour on their mission and collected 4 bakkies full! The loads were driven to the Municipal storage where they now patiently await the building of the new recycling depot.

The teachers and children in the meantime gathered again in the VGK hall for a prize- giving ceremony. Five Grade 1 children picked up the most litter – 23 farmers feed bags full! They won a glorious chocolate cake and an olive tree each.

Due to the generosity of many Prince Alberters, who opened their pockets and also gave of their precious time, this event was a great success and we have money left to continue with the campaign.

The next step in the direction of making a change is to get permission from our respective headmasters to let us do a rubbish round once a month, and to introduce a system at the schools where the children will bring their recyclable litter from home. For every bag they bring, they will earn points which will be converted to stationary prizes.

The feedback has been interesting: not many people can see a difference, but for the children it has made an impact; they are seriously thinking twice about throwing their litter on the ground, because in all probability they are the ones who will have to pick it up! Soon they will hopefully see the long-term benefits but in the meantime, at least, their minds are on the subject!

We would like to thank the following for their support: Anton Joubert of Remote Meter Solutions, PA municipality, Denise Ohlson, Bergwater Vineyards, Marlene and Laurie Knowles, Koggelmander, Rudi Maeyer, Weltevreden fig farm, Dorrien Tissiman, Karoo Slaghuis, Ria Steyn, Charles Roux, Lazy Lizard, Gay’s Dair,Essie Esterhuizen, Lorna Verran, Renu-Karoo, Mavis Aggett, Seeff Properties, Andrea Badenhorst, Di and Jeremy Freemantle, P A Tourism, Pam Golding Properties, Laetitia Van Dyk, Pam Wessels, P A Gallery, , Prins-Kem Pharmacy,Fransie Pienaar Musuem Sandy Bower, Helene Smit, Mark Steyn, Jeff Armoed and Café Albert.

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