Mandalay Primary School pupils have been warned of another crisis: Cape Town is running out of landfill space.
Angela Raynardt, Mpact Recycling marketing representative, said to the pupils: “Imagine you get home and they did not collect your dirt. You must dig a hole in your yard and store your dirt there.”
She said there were water and electricity shortages, and now residents faced a landfill crisis.
In the City, of the 164 landfills, 93 had already been closed, she added.
She said this at the recycling competition launch during two assemblies at the school, on Wednesday May 15.
Ms Raynardt explained to the children that recycling was the process of changing waste material into reusable and new products.
“We need your help to extend the life of our landfills, which is rapidly running out,” she said.
Ms Raynardt was accompanied by six Tammy Taylor Mrs South Africa Cape Town semi-finalists, each of whom has been challenged to collect and negotiate with businesses to gather two tons of paper for the school.
At about the same time, Mayor Dan Plato visited the New Earth Recycling in Parow, where he encouraged residents to recycle, and tap into its economic opportunity.
“Our landfills have a limited capacity, and recycling and repurposing waste is an innovative way to address this challenge,” he said.
Mr Plato said the global fight to decrease the pollution footprint of human beings, by increasing recycling efforts, diverting more waste from landfills and increasingly finding new ways to move
away from single-use plastics, required stronger partnerships to change the current trajectory of most global cities, as well as Cape Town.
“The City is committed to working with partners to ensure that Cape Town’s resilience is enhanced, and that a more sustainable city is created,” he said.
Anelisa Thali, 29, from Parklands; Camen Abdul Ghang, 38, from Kenilworth; Eureka Kopisa, 43, from Eerster River; Charina Joubert, 30, from Brackenfell; Michelle Sky Hayward, 27, from Sea Point; and Madi Kotze, 29, from Brackenfell, joined Ms Raynardt to encourage pupils at the Mandalay school to collect used paper.
The school stands a chance of winning prizes worth up to R240 000 in Butterfly products, including stationery.
Through the national partnership with Mpact Recycling, the Mrs South Africa semi-finalists are required to work together at schools and community projects with the aim of promoting recycling awareness, supporting fund-raising initiatives and increasing recycling volumes.
The women, all of whom are married and some who have children, encouraged the pupils to save the planet and stop polluting the environment.
Ms Kotze said the partnership was valuable, as it spotlights the importance of recycling.
“Team work makes the dream work, and we will work together to generate some income for the school,” she said.
“Let’s limit the paper and trash being dumped in our environment,” said Ms Thali.
Ms Kopisa called on the children to make a difference and make their living space a better place.
The women are six of 100 semi-finalists completing four months of workshops, mentorship programs and interviews, and will raise funds for Women4Women South Africa.
They did a programme with matric girls at AZ Berman High School, on Monday May 6.
As semi-finalists, they are change-makers and community upliftment ambassadors to improve the lives of the less fortunate, and enable education for those who ordinarily cannot afford it.